I used to catch every cold that came into town. Office colds? Check. Office colds from my boyfriend’s office? Colds from family/friends/strangers schools/offices/jousting tournaments? Check, check, check. My winters were a series of tissue boxes, cough syrups, and congested mutterings that could be summed up as “This again?” or “Oh come on nose. Get it together.”
My years of grumpy congestedness have made me a bit of a cold prevention expert. No one likes to be sick and grumbley, especially during the holidays. And cold/cough product manufacturers tend to prey on that this time of year, with commercials full of anxious moms, sick kids and grownups, and pricey, chemical laden products packaged in plastic. Don't fall into an expensive, antibacterial trap. Try these tips and tricks for cold/cough prevention, and safer cold/cough treatment:
Push fluids: My mom is a nurse, and no matter what ails you, “push fluids” (aka drink lots and lots of water) is her battle cry. Drinking lots of water helps flush your system out, and is an important piece of your cold/cough avoidance plan, as well as your cold/cough treatment. If you’re drinking a lot of water, make sure it’s safe by using a filter. For a decent filter at a decent price, the Environmental Working Group recommends a carbon filter. Their water filter guide will help you choose the filter that’s right for you and your budget needs. Make sure you also filter your water if you’re boiling water for tea or soup. If you don’t have a filter, the Green Guide recommends placing an open container of water in the fridge for a few hours, which helps filter out chlorine, and let water run for a full minute before you use it for cooking or drinking.
Replace your soups: Soup is a surefire helper in the fight against sore throats and congestion. Skip the BPA that often makes an appearance in canned soups by making your own or choosing soups that are jarred or boxed. Parent Earth has several kid friendly soup recipes that can be whipped up for lunch or dinner. Invent your own simple soup by adding beans, veggies, and/or grains to boxed broth or easy homemade broth.
Cold/Cough DIYs: Antiseptic sprays? Cough drops? Cold medicine? There are easy DIY solutions for all of these.
- Cough drops: The Pistachio Project shows you how to whip up a batch of homemade honey cough drops.
- Antiseptic spray: Keep your home clean without chemical-laden antibacterial sprays. Try this antiseptic spray recipe from Healthy Child, Healthy World.
- Cold relief: Dr. Greene has an easy recipe for homemade cold relief that's made out of ingredients you probably already have in your pantry and fridge.
Keep it clean: Forget what the commercials say---You don't need to douse your home in antibacterial cleaning sprays. Germs do like to hang out on surfaces in our homes though, so make sure that you routinely clean items in your home that your family regularly handles. This includes game controllers, remote controls, cell phones, countertops, door knobs, and keyboards. Our guide to making your own cheap and easy nontoxic cleaning supplies will help you keep your cleaning supply cabinet stocked and free of toxic chemicals.
Do you have tips for staying healthy during cold/cough season? Leave them in the comments, or visit our Facebook page and share them with the MomsRising community.