Last Updated October 7th, 2009

9 Tips for Cold and Flu Season

The suddenly rather chilly nights we’ve been having around here are quite the reminder that cold and flu season are approaching. This year’s flu season has been quite hyped up with all the talk of Swine Flu, vaccines, and wondering just how bad a year it’s going to be anyhow.

No matter how you think it’s going to go, it’s time to start planning for how you will cope with it all. When you have kids, there are pretty good odds that they’ll drag some bug home for the family to share.

At least when you’re an at home parent you aren’t so likely to be calling in sick to work, even if you have a work at home job.

On the other hand, you can’t just call in sick to your kids if they’re young. They need you no matter how sick you feel.

1. Research this year’s flu vaccines and decide if they’re right for your family.

There’s been a lot of talk about Swine Flu as well as the usual seasonal flu this year, and that means two shots to consider. It also means a lot more talk about whether or not both flu shots are a good idea. Reports such as the one out of Canada that the seasonal flu shot may increase the risk of swine flu make this an interesting decision even for those who would normally just get the flu vaccine.

My own inclination is to not get them, but that’s my choice for my family. You may have your own preferences.

2. Check your medical supplies.

It’s nice to have the stuff you might need on hand for in case you or your kids do get sick. It’s no fun running to the pharmacy with a sick kid or if you’re feeling miserable yourself. And waiting for someone to bring you supplies can be torture too.

3. Eat healthy.

This should #1 really. Eating healthy is one of your best defenses against getting sick. It’s not a guarantee by any means, but it’s one part of giving your body what it needs to fight off illness.

I’m really fond of fruit and vegetable smoothies. It’s amazing how many vegetables really don’t change the taste of a smoothie all that much. They also make great popsicles for the kids.

4. Wash your hands.

And have your kids do likewise, regularly.

This actually may or may not help against the flu, but it’s a good habit and can’t hurt. Especially since they do feel it helps limit the spread of the common cold.

5. Don’t cough or sneeze into your hands if you can help it.

I was kind of amazed a few years back when my oldest daughter started preschool and they taught her to sneeze and cough into the crook of her elbow. But it makes sense. You don’t touch many things with that part of your body, so you spread fewer germs that way.

Tissues are another good option.

6. Try not to spread whatever bugs you catch.

It’s rough staying home extra when you’re sick and/or keeping the kids out of school, but it really is for the best. When you’re an at home parent at least you can still get some things done if you have a sick child underfoot, unlike parents who work outside the home and have to take the whole day off. Take advantage.

It’s more difficult in many ways if you’re the sick one and you still need to get the kids to school. Do your best to stay away from others; most people will gladly stay a couple extra steps back if you warn them that you’re not feeling well.

7. Drink plenty of fluids.

This one is good advice anytime. Water is best, but juice works well enough, especially if your kids aren’t big fans of plain water.

8. Get outside.

Fresh air is good for you. Sunlight is good for you. Get outside a little bit without sunscreen to let your body produce some natural vitamin D, then consider sunscreen if you’re likely to be out enough to worry about a burn. Same for the kids.

Sunburn is less of a worry for most people in winter, of course.

Getting cold doesn’t mean you will catch a cold. Viruses flourish most in places with lots of people, and that’s where you’ll catch them. Just don’t over chill yourself either if it really is that cold outside. That’s not good for you either.

9. Exercise.

Healthy exercise is… healthy. It’s a good idea any time of year.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated October 7th, 2008

A Fan to Lower SIDS Risk?

Since I’m expecting baby #3, this headline caught my attention. I’m of course well familiar with having baby sleep on his or her back to lower SIDS risk, but having a fan in the room is an interesting one too.

Researchers feel that this indicates that better room ventilation may help in general to reduce risk. The fans showed a 72% drop in risk.

I have to say, this is making me wish for a ceiling fan in my bedroom. Baby will be in there the first few months at least, after all. My husband hates fan noise, so that would be an acceptable way to handle it, I think. A good ceiling fan is pretty quiet on its lowest setting.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated September 16th, 2008

Getting Ready for the OB Ultrasound Water Torture

Yes, indeed, today is the day! I go in this afternoon to get my ultrasound to find out what exactly it is I’m lugging around here. Been teasing my daughter that it will be a pony.


The part I dislike most is the fairly standard request that I drink 40 ounces of water in the 1-2 hours before the ultrasound. And then not pee until after the ultrasound is done.

Every woman who has gone through this knows how miserable it is. Not only is that a huge amount of water to have in your bladder, there is a baby who is all too happy to tap dance on it. The kicks may not be as strong as they will be later on, but if you’ve had that much water to drink, it doesn’t matter much.

The appointment is set for after my daughter gets out of school. With the usual grand sense of timing that medical offices have, their first appointment offering was 5 minutes before the time my daughter gets out of school. Once I said ‘Nothing before 3 p.m.’ the problem was solved.

My daughter is very excited. She’s been fascinated by medical issues ever since my son had his craniosynostosis surgery. Since I intend this to be the last baby (especially if they insist on another *$&#$ C-section!), I want her to get to see this part.

So here I go, hoping to not explode today. Well, maybe not that bad, but if you’ve done it you know the feeling.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated November 16th, 2006

Why Do People Make Such a Fuss?

Yet another mother has been harrassed for breastfeeding in a place someone else felt was inappropriate. In this case it was on an airplane. A flight attendant made her get off the plane because she refused to cover up with a blanket.

Now, the woman insists she was being discreet. Next to last row, window seat. Not that the people behind her would have been able to see anything anyhow without some effort. You know how tall airline seats are and how narrow the gap between them

Clearly that flight attendant had no clue about babies. Breastfeeding a baby on a plane that is just about to take off isn’t just about feeding the baby. It’s about making takeoff comfortable so that baby doesn’t cry for the entire flight, making everyone, flight attendants included, utterly miserable. Read the rest of this entry »

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Last Updated November 7th, 2006

Coping with a Child Who Doesn't Talk

It’s hard waiting for Gage to start talking. At 20 months of age, he has about 4 words… mama, bye bye, uh oh and up. That’s up from 3 words at 18 months, so it’s very slow going.

It’s not that he doesn’t seem to be bright. He understands just about everything we tell him. He can communicate his wants very well. He just doesn’t talk.

The hard times is when he’s asking for something that isn’t routine. It can be a very frustrating guessing game.

This morning he was pointing and grunting loudly at something on the counter. My first answer was “No, it’s too early to have Halloween candy.” But he kept at it and I realized that wasn’t what he was after. So I picked him up and had him show me. Turned out he wanted to play with the oven mitts.

We’ve talked about working on sign language, but the challenge is that we aren’t sure if it will slow verbal development still more, and my inlaws, who watch him nearly once a week for at least a few hours, are reluctant to participate. I would really want that support for his sake, otherwise he’ll have a very frustrating time coping with people who don’t understand what he’s saying. Read the rest of this entry »

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Facebook Twitter Google Plus Pinterest Feedly
Home With the Kids on LinkedIn

Are you ready to work at home? Subscribe to learn about blogging and other ways to earn money from home.



Disclosure: Home with the Kids is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to I also review or mention products for which I may receive compensation from other sources. All opinions are my own.