After years of suffering with multiple colds and flu passing from one child to the next, I discovered several ways to survive cold and flu season with kids. Making some simple changes can keep even large families healthy.
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Once winter sets in, there are a few things we do each year to survive cold and flu season with kids. Some are preventative and some are treatments when we see symptoms begin. All are natural and easy on the immune system. Tracking symptoms also helps in treatment and diagnosis.
You can download my free printable Family Illness Log below!
8 Ways to Survive Cold and Flu Season With Kids
Skip the Halloween Candy
Starting out the cold and flu season with a healthy immune system goes a long way toward prevention of illness. There is typically a wave of illness that begins in November, not long after Halloween, when kids have consumed mass amounts of sugar and junk. Then they take their bodies into the schools and daycares with immune systems weakened by dealing with all of the toxic junk in candy. This is a recipe for a health disaster.
Clean Up the Diet
In addition to skipping the mass intake of candy for Halloween, cleaning up the diet of our kids in general can help prevent illness. Again, the less detox their bodies have to do, the more they can focus on fighting illness. Eliminate extra sugar, processed foods and fast foods whenever possible.
Detox can be great for kids, especially those who do not keep their diet very clean. Detoxing with oil pulling is easy, safe, and great for the body and (Bonus!) the teeth and gums! All you need is some coconut oil, and a great toothpaste. I even have a simple little step by step tutorial here.
Chang Bed Linen
You would not believe how germs can live in bed linen. It’s definitely a lot of work, but I add one extra load of laundry per day when my family is sick so I can change the bed linens of those who are showing symptoms of illness each day. I also have those people wear clean pajamas each night, no matter how much they like their favorites.
I use essential oils in my house on a daily basis. We cook with them, diffuse them and use them topically. However, there are a few go-to oils I pull out at the first signs of illness. These are my favorites:
Thieves – diffused and mixed to make cleaner
Eucalyptus – Apply a few drops to walls of hot shower, make a balm for chest rub
Lemon – add to hot tea with honey or to homemade cough syrup
RC – dilute and apply topically for cough and congestion
Contact me or click here to learn more about ordering these and other essential oils at a discounted price!
Increase Vitamin D
During cold and flu season, I increase our families intake of both Vitamins D and C. Mounting research suggests vitamin D deficiency may actually be a major cause of influenza. People with the lowest vitamin D levels report having significantly more colds or cases of the flu. Conversely, vitamin D optimization boosts immunity and cuts rates of cold and flu. I recommend using a high quality vitamin D supplement daily as directed.
High dose vitamin C is one way to help treat colds and flu effectively. Taking a high enough dose consistently is key to this treatment being effective. Another benefit is vitamin C is also inexpensive and well tolerated.
Elderberries are an excellent general immune system booster. The berries contain chemical compounds called anthocyanidins, which are are known to have immunostimulant effects. Elderberry extract has been shown to be a safe, efficient and cost-effective treatment for both cold and flu symptoms.
You can purchase elderberry syrup or make your own. My friend Heather, of Random Mama has a great recipe and tutorial here.
I started making my own cough syrup when I realized that many of the ingredients in the commercial otc products were making my children sicker by compromising their immune systems. Using natural ingredients found in your kitchen, you can effectively treat a cough without further compromising the immune system.
Track Symptoms from the Onset with this Free Printable Family Illness Log