There’s so much to get excited about with another school year nearly upon us! New supplies, new friends, new…viruses? My children’s school supply lists include not just pencils and notebooks but facial tissue and hand sanitizer. It could be that their teachers are all germophobes, but I’m guessing they’re just experienced.
Your home should also have a supply list for cough and cold season, but it doesn’t have to be long. As a start, pick up some tissues. Also, be sure to grab some extra hand sanitizer. Most cold viruses spread by hand-to-face contact, so frequent handwashing with soap and water or cleansing with a product that contains at least 62% isopropyl alcohol is among the most effective ways to keep cold viruses from spreading.
While you’re in the pharmacy section of the store, go ahead and pick up an age-appropriate vitamin D (get some for yourself while you’re at it). In one study, vitamin D supplements reduced children’s risk of getting a cold by half! The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children should take at least 400 IU of vitamin D a day, an amount found in most children’s multivitamins.
If you’re not sure you have a working thermometer, grab a new one! It’s normal to have 3 days of fever at the start of a cold, but a fever that lasts 4 or more days or that returns later in the illness often suggests a bacterial infection.
Next, check out the housewares department for some cozy bedding. Tired kids are much more susceptible to viral infections, so make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep, every night!
Finally, call your child’s doctor to make sure her immunizations are up to date and find out when she can get flu vaccine. Immunizations can cut down dramatically on rates of ear infections, pneumonia, and sinusitis. As far as doctors are concerned, they’re your child’s #1 school supply.
Dr. Hill is a paid spokesman for PediaCare®, a brand of Prestige Brands, Inc. or its affiliate (Prestige). The content of his posts represents his own thoughts and opinions. Such content is merely informational and is not intended as medical advice. If readers require medical advice or have particular medical needs for themselves or anyone else, they should consult a doctor or other appropriate medical professional.