The kids are dropping like flies.
The ones my kids go to school with. Every week more kids are out with colds, the flu, and the dreaded gastroenteritis.
I have to admit. That last one makes me panic a little. I have a little phobia about vomiting.
That’s why I do everything possible to prevent illness in my kids.
So far it’s working.
Stock Up on These Things to Prevent Illness
We don’t use a lot of things to prevent illness. I’m of the firm believe that exposure to a variety of germs is essential to building a healthy immune system.
That said, besides eating a healthy diet, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of warding off the latest bugs. I like to keep the following on hand. The good news? I can find it all on my regular trip to Walmart. Did I ever mention I try to avoid specialty stores? I only have so much time to get my shopping done!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
Washing your hands is the number one way to prevent illness. It makes sense, then, to keep your home well stocked with soap.
I always use SoftSoap – the non-antibacterial kind. I’ve read that antibacterial soap can kill beneficial bacteria and increase the incidence of “superbugs” – those bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. Because of this, we stick with regular SoftSoap. We don’t want any superbugs around here!
GermX Hand Sanitizer
While hand sanitizer is not as effective as regular soap against the “stomach flu” bugs, it’s better than nothing when you’re out and about.
I keep GermX in my purse and use it to wash my kids’ hands when we’re on the road. It’s especially useful at the doctor’s office. I try to avoid regular doctor’s appointments during cold and flu season, but sometimes it’s necessary. I just hate to be in an area where a lot of sick people are congregated.
As soon as we leave the doctor’s office – before we even get into the car – I have everyone wipe their hands with GermX. I do the same thing when we go grocery shopping. You never know who has touched the shopping cart before you!
I’m not usually a fan of “use it and toss it” products, but I make an exception for Clorox wipes. I keep a container in each bathroom and wipe down the sinks and toilets daily. I figure if someone is beginning to get sick, wiping with an antibacterial wipe might prevent the spread of the illness to other family members.
Wiping down bathroom surfaces with antibacterial wipes might seem to conflict with my feelings about antibacterial soap, but I’m all about getting bad germs off of household surfaces to prevent their spread. Once the bad germs are off household surfaces, we shouldn’t need antibacterial properties to get the bacteria off our hands.
I don’t know if it makes a lot of sense, but it’s the way I strike a balance for our family.
A Good MultiVitamin
As much as I try to feed our family healthy meals, I know sometimes we get busy and don’t eat right. A good multi-vitamin helps us get the nutrients we need to stay well when we can’t eat healthy meals every night.
I stock up on Emergen-C when I’m going to be flying. There’s nothing worse than coming home from a business trip, exhausted from jet lag and then getting sick on top of it.
Emergen-C gives my body the immune boost I need to mostly stay healthy after being on a plane…even when there are sick people on the plane. And there always are.
Stock Up on These Things to Treat Illness Once it Strikes
Nobody can prevent illness 100% of the time. Believe me, I’ve tried.
Since illness can and will strike, you’ll want to have these things on hand, so you don’t have to make a midnight run to Walmart when your kid has a high fever. Because we all know kids always get sick in the middle of the night.
Everyone needs a good pain reliever/fever reducer on hand, and Motrin is my pain reliever of choice. I’ve found that it’s more effective than acetaminophen in relieving my pain. You may have different results. But I also like that it’s hard to overdose ibuprofen to the point of doing harm.
I keep Children’s Motrin on hand for my five-year-old.
Usually, stomach illnesses resolve on their own and quickly. But young children can get dehydrated in a hurry, especially if there’s vomiting involved. Pedialyte replaces electrolytes that are lost during vomiting and diarrhea.
I keep Pedialyte popsicles in the freezer for my youngest. It’s the only way she’ll take Pedialyte. Nobody wants to end up in the emergency room with a sick kid. And it’s even worse when you’re sick as well. Ask me how I know.
Nyquil & Dayquil
In a perfect world, we’d all stay home from work or school when we are even the least bit sick. Unfortunately, especially when it comes to work, you need to show up or you won’t get paid.
Of course, my family stays home when we have anything more serious than the common cold, but it’s amazing how much a regular cold can drag you down. We keep both NyQuil and DayQuil on hand to keep us going when we have colds but need to keep on going with life. And we moms need to keep going, no matter what sometimes.
When it’s cold and flu season, I always keep boxes of tissues on hand. Not the cheap kind, either. Puffs plus lotion is the way to go. If I have to blow my nose a thousand times a day, I want to use something soft.
More Steps You Can Take
If you really don’t want to get the flu, you can get the flu vaccine right at Walmart while you pick up your medicine cabinet supplies. Most insurance companies cover the flu shot 100%. And since the CDC predicts that the flu won’t peak until February this year, it’s not too late.
And if you have any questions about medications or flu prevention or treatment, I’ve always found the Walmart pharmacists to be very helpful. They’ve always been willing to help me find the right product for my symptoms.