Be Prepared! Must Haves For Cold And Flu Season

I’m officially at the age and stage of my life where lame things excite me. Or rather, things that would have seemed lame to me a decade ago but now complete me in a way I would have never deemed possible before becoming a parent. Things that are too good not share with other parents because I’m positive you’ll love them for their simplicity and ability to make your life easier, especially during cold and flu season.


I can’t brag enough about my Braun temporal thermometer. I wish my frugal self would have splurged the forty bones when my kids were babies because this is the quickest and easiest way to check a child’s temperature. You don’t have to touch them. You don’t have to wait. Your child CAN BE ASLEEP!


It’s impossible to misuse because there’s a picture right on the front with the proper way to get an accurate reading. It’s also simple to interpret. Not only is the number digitally displayed, but the backlight lets you know how serious the fever is:

  • Green for “good to go”
  • Yellow for a “moderate or low-grade” fever
  • Red for a legit “your kid is staying home from school” fever

I use this thing so often that it stays on my bookshelf year-round and I’ve replaced the batteries twice in the year I’ve had it. That says a lot considering it’s literally on for 20 seconds at a time. It’s rightly my most favorite thing. And you can have it Primed right to your front door in a day or two.

Breathing Easy

We all know the importance of keeping a cool-mist humidifier on hand for soothing a dry, hacking cough into the wee hours of the night. But sometimes that isn’t enough to calm a persistent ‘tussis. We’ve slathered little bodies in VapoRub and dragged exhausted wheezing kids into the bathroom at 2am to run a hot shower, but these things only provide temporary relief.

Enter Vicks game-changing VapoPads. These tiny swatches of menthol-soaked miracles tuck into a tray on the humidifier filling the room with the sweet silence that has eluded your home for days. This nifty little setup will gift your family with the one thing it truly needs when it has been eviscerated by a respiratory bug: sleep!

Homemade Flu Kit

When the bug is of intestinal origin, I’ve learned to keep a homemade kit on hand. It consists of no less than two large bowls or buckets designated solely for stomach flus, an industrial-sized can of Lysol, bleach, and good, old-fashioned matches for scent management. If you’re familiar with Norovirus, you know the purpose of each of these items intimately and for that, I’m sorry.

homemade flu readiness kitMany of these items we’ve acquired on the fly with late-night runs to Meijer or Rite Aid. But now I take inventory as soon as the kids are back in school. The bugs have been early and prevalent in our area and I’ve already been forced to restock our matches and baby wipes reserve.

Once your afflicted kiddo is ready for sustenance again, it’s good to have a few additional things in your pantry. I stock up on my kids’ favorite flavored Pedialyte or Gatorade, Saltines or oyster crackers, and popsicles before cold and flu season hits. They’ll keep for months and you’ll be ready when you need them.

Medicine Cabinet Inventory

Finally, I check the expiration dates in the medicine cabinet periodically. It’s such an abominable disappointment to reach for the Tylenol only to find out you’ve got one open bottle that expired months ago. 

The only thing worse than seeing your little one suffer is the helpless feeling you get when you can’t make it all better. By keeping these items in your house, you’ll alleviate that worry just a little. And… you’ll likely avoid a late-night scramble to the only 24-hour pharmacy way across town in your vomit soaked pj’s and husband’s slippers.



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