Woman washing hand to battle cold and fluMaybe your son got off the bus complaining of a scratchy throat. Or you feel feverish and have a stuffy nose. It looks like a weekend of sniffles and coughs. With flu season in full swing, try these tips to prepare your family.

  1. Prepare your home. Make sure you have plenty of tissues, soap, sanitizer, and paper products (cups, towels, plates). Perhaps get some new coloring books, DVDs, or puzzles to help distract your kids from boredom (and whining) when they’re not feeling well.
  2. Restock your medicine cabinet. Check to see you have enough pain relievers, fever reducers, and cough syrups. Make sure your thermometer’s batteries still work.
  3. Get serious about washing hands.Remind your family that germy hands spread viruses and teach them to scrub their hands with soap for the “ABC” song twice (about twenty seconds). Make sure you do it, too!
  4. Every day disinfect heavily touched items — like doorknobs, remote controls, and phones. In every main room, place a bottle of hand sanitizer and use some whenever you pass through.
  5. Plan for sick days.  Even if you don’t come down with the flu, you may need to take care of your kids. Speak to HR to make sure you know the policies for sick days and if you’ll have to take unpaid days off.
  6. Recruit support. Schedule carpooling with another parent if you’re down for the count or ask family members to stay home with your children if they’re not feeling well.
  7. Check your pantry.Stock up on some healthy comfort foods that are easy to make and favorite fruit drinks and snacks for your kids. Even though chicken soup doesn’t cure a cold, the warm liquid is good for respiration.
  8. Get plenty of sleep. Whether your family is working to avoid getting sick or trying to recover, get lots of rest.
  9. Vaccinating. Getting a flu shot is still one of the best ways to help keep the flu away from your house.


Remember that antibiotics don’t cure the flu. If you think you have the flu, call your doctor. Early treatment is key and your doctor can give you antiviral drugs that can lessen your symptoms.