How to Manage a Cold in your Family

how to manage a cold in your family

This last December, my family and I were hit with what seemed like five colds in a row. That or it was a cold that got recycled between us repeatedly – and given how fast cold viruses can mutate, either one is possible! So my kids got a real, first-hand look at how to manage a cold as we all helped each other recover.

So, here’s some great health tips from them (and me) to all y’all.

How to Manage a Cold – By Knowing What it Is

My first piece of advice for dealing with a cold is this: don’t catch it! My kids agree – they’ve decided sneezes, coughing, and boogers aren’t as cool as they once thought. And they’ve learned that coughing into an elbow, using tissues, and washing hands are a lot more important than they’d once thought.

And, they’re right on every count, so yay! So I’ll just reiterate it in its most simple format: stay away from sick people – so you don’t get sick.

Next, it’s important to know what the common cold is. It’s an upper respiratory disease caused by more than 200 different viruses. In other words, antibiotics won’t work. And there’s so many viruses that cause it that you could have the usual 2-3 colds per year and never catch the same virus twice in your whole lifetime. It’s also very different than the flu – so know the common influenza symptoms.

Next, let’s look at what the common symptoms are. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the most-common cold symptoms include:

  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Coughing
  • Stuffed or runny nose
  • Mild body aches
  • A mild headache
  • Watery eyes
  • Post-nasal drip

In other words, it’s not a fun bug to catch. But it is manageable – so let’s talk about that next.

My Best Cold-Busting Tips

Now that we know what colds are, let’s get rid of it ASAP!!

Oh, right. It’s time for the obligatory disclaimer – then we’ll dive into it.

When it comes to a cold, the best cold-busting tip comes from Daniel Tiger. “When you’re sick, rest is best – rest is best!” Rest is important to healing – it gives your body the energy it needs to defeat those nasty virus germs. Especially since antibiotics won’t help!

Daniel Tiger is amazing, y’all. He’s got a song (and an answer) for almost everything.

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If you haven’t seen that episode (which you can watch right here via Amazon Prime Video), it’s free to watch with an Amazon Prime subscription.

So, make sure you rest. And while we rest, we usually watch some fun shows – it helps make time fly. So rest – and drink lots of fluids, and rest some more.

Then, because I’m a mom and don’t get sick days, I also like to use these medicines and products to help me get better faster.

Stuff in my Cold-Busting Basket

Antipyretics (fever-fighting medicines) like Tylenol and Ibuprofen help me manage any fever and deal with the body aches that come with a cold. That way, I can keep being mom without feeling like I need to complain every 36 seconds. Although, when sick I reserve the right to do so anyway.

Decongestants and expectorant medicines like guaifenisen and sudafed are great for helping you get those nasty boogers out of your nose – I’m prone to developing sinus infections (at least, I am this year!) so these medicines have been a lifesaver. Just make sure you’re taking them as directed by a doctor – or ask a pharmacist if they’re over the counter.

This Vicks Humidifier was a lifesaver for me this year! It was a dual humidifier and diffuser – something about the smell of Vicks helps me breathe better when sick!

Essential oils work miracles for many people when sick. However, with my asthma, I have to be extra careful with which I use – and how I use them. So when I’m already sick with the flu, these are the ones I tend to stick with.

These products make a great Cold-busting gift basket for friends and family, too.

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Kimberly C. Starr

I'm a ginger who loves reading, eating, being a nurse, spending time with my family, and writing about it all. I believe humor is the best medicine, followed very closely by chocolate and tacos. To read more about me, click here.

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