After the many head colds, flus and two weeks of influenza that we experienced in both our kids last winter, keeping my kids healthy and as free from viruses as possible is my ultimate goal this year, even more so than ever! I have always been big on reducing the germs my kids may come in contact with by using hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes whenever possible: after grocery store trips, after contact with other kids at activities/play dates, and especially when at restaurants. I always wipe down tables and even the seats, trays, armrests, etc. on airplanes when we travel. I also always wash my hands as well as the kid’s hands every time we enter the home after being out and about. But, as much as I try to reduce the germs in hopes to prevent any colds or flus from developing, I still can’t avoid them all. And let’s face it, I’m not with my toddler twenty-four seven to watch over her. By nature, kids tend to put their hands in their mouths much more often than us adults would like them to, which doesn’t help our causes! It also seems that since my daughter entered preschool this year, we barely get over one cold before we see a new one develop a few days later!
When a cold or flu strikes, I always have my thermometer handy. I’ve been using a Braun ear thermometer since my daughter was born and have been very happy with it. When I was offered to try out their newer version, the Braun ThermoScan®7 with Braun ThermoScan® disposable lens filters, I was eager to give it a go! The main difference with this one, compared to the one I already own, is the Age Precision® feature. So many times, I have found myself googling if my child’s temperature is too high based on their age; since a concerning temperature varies as a child grows. For example, what is considered a high temperature for a newborn might be considered a moderate temperature for a toddler. The Braun ThermoScan®7 offers an Age Precision® button which allows you to set your child’s age before you take their temperature. By doing this, the temperature is then interpreted by the thermometer by using a colour-coded fever indicator – green (normal temperature), yellow (elevated temperature) and red (high temperature) taking the uncertainty out of what is a concerning temperature for your child based on his/her age. What also makes this thermometer great is its accuracy. Since the tip on a thermometer can cool down when not in use, it can lead to inaccurate temperature readings. The Braun ThermoScan®7 has a tip that warms up before being used to ensure it is accurately reading your child’s temperature. Since a cold tip could mean a reading that is lower than the actual temperature, it could lead to improper treatment, so this feature is extremely important! I also always take the temperature in both of my kid’s ears, as the temperature between the two ears often varies by at least one degree, so this helps me get a more accurate reading.
Winter can mean extremely cold and dry climates, especially in Winnipeg! I personally always find that I have a dry nose during the winter months, which for me causes nosebleeds. Using a humidifier or vaporizer such as Vicks FilterFree Cool Mist Humidifier or Vicks® Warm Steam Vaporizer during a cold, I find eases symptoms and helps reduce dry throats and congestion, especially when trying to sleep. I figure if it helps me, then it will also help my family feel more comfortable and increase the amount of sleep we’ll get at night, which is obviously extremely important to us! Vicks also makes Vicks Vapo Pads which work with their vaporizers and warm mist humidifiers. They produce scents such as lavender, rosemary or menthol vapours, which help to soothe and also decongest! We especially like the menthol one.
During the winter, I try to increase the amount of Vitamin D my kid’s get by giving them extra vitamin pills or drops. Since we are cooped up inside our houses for the majority of the year here in Winnipeg, therefore decreasing our exposure to sunlight, we definitely don’t get enough Vitamin D. Providing my kids with a multivitamin high in Vitamin D I find helps boost their immunity.
I always get the flu shot for myself as it’s offered at my workplace, but this year I made the decision to get the kids vaccinated as well. After last year’s horrible experience with influenza, I decided to give it a try as I am hoping it’ll protect us from any flu strains this year!
So far this fall/early winter, the kids have only been sick with a fever once. Head colds however, have obviously come and gone, but like I said before, there’s no way we can avoid all germs! I’m hoping these tricks will lead to a healthier and therefore happier winter for my little fam! *This post was sponsored by Braun Thermometers and Vicks Humidifiers, however, all opinions, pictures and content are my own.