Unfortunately my latest moment isn’t the most magical one and has to do with sick children. Winter is here and along with it dry air, dust, allergies and a whole heap of bugs. It is almost inevitable that your children will fall victim to them and if you have more than one little person it is murphey’s law that as soon as one gets better, the next one will get sick.
Now, while I am all for modern medicine when it comes to fighting off the bugs, I would prefer to prevent rather than treat and so here are the top 5 items in my winter survival kit.
Saline Nose Spray
One of the first defence lines I turn to is saline nose spray. It soothes my kid’s nasal passages when they become dry and irritated and it helps keep them clean. If they are already blocked up it definitely loosens up all the muck in there so that they can blow their noses and breathe a little better. My saline spray of choice is Sterimar as it is gentle yet effective but most importantly it is drug and preservative free. It can be used right from birth and I think that with the amount that we go through I should have shares in the company by now, read about it here on the Sterimar website. The only downside is that Sterimar is a bit pricey and there are other sprays available. Just remember to check with your healthcare provider to make sure that whatever you choose to use is safe.
NoseFrida (aka the snotsucker)
Right, so this is where it gets gross. While my 4 year old is now old enough to blow her nose herself (thank goodness) my 2 year old is not. And there isn’t much that is sadder than a 2 year old crying over her food (producing even more snot) because she can’t eat because she can’t breathe. In steps the nose frida. It looks like a syringe with a little hose attached to one side and a mouth piece at the end. What you do is you put the syringe end into your babies nose and you literally suck the snot out (don’t worry there is a filter so you don’t get any coming through to your mouth). It is revolting but the end result is so worth it, a happy baby who can eat and breathe and smile. I know it isn’t for everyone and you can use a bulb syringe if you prefer or just stick to the nose sprays but for me, as gross as it is, I don’t hesitate to turn to the good old snot sucker from time to time. In case you were wondering it is both doctor invented and recommended and it both safe and hygienic. You can read more about it on the Frida Baby website.
Running a humidifier can help to relieve a stuffy nose and soothe an irritated sore throat, this in turn means a better night’s sleep for your little ones (and you). Add to this that studies have shown that by keeping your house (or at least your kid’s rooms) at 40-60% humidity you can decrease the survival of the flu virus in the air. My little ones are fascinated by the steam coming out of their humidifiers and so for safety reasons (no burnt faces or fingers) I have chosen to go with cool mist humidifiers in their rooms although the warm ones are just as effective.
Children have really narrow nasal and sinus passages and when they get sick it is really easy for all the mucuous to build up and get infected. My youngest daughter is particularly prone to ear infections and in a bid to avoid putting her on a constant stream of antibiotics I try to find ways of keeping all that muck out of her passages. One of those ways is the NoseFrida (see above) and the other is by using a mucolytic which basically loosens all the mucous so that it can’t build up. They are available over the counter and in many different forms however please check with your healthcare provider before starting one as they do contain some ingredients that you or your children might be sensitive to.
This is the one thing that I think that we all turn to when we feel the sniffles coming on. There are many different ones available and my friends and I all seem to use a different one, it just comes down to personal choice and what works for your family. We use the Cal-C-Vita gummies on top of the kid’s regular multivitamins to give their immune systems that extra boost.
Please remember that this is just my go-to list for winter and you should always consult your doctor or health care provider for any medical advice regarding your children.