How to Stop a Cold Before it Starts: 12 Products to Prevent Getting Sick
No one wants to get the flu, and even the common cold can be a major inconvenience. When you have kids at home, illness is especially hard to avoid in the cold weather of winter months. Especially this year -- flu cases are rampant across the country. But there are things you can do to boost your immunity, lessen symptoms, and stay healthy! Here are some great products to help stop a cold before it starts. And you can even lessen sick time once you start feeling symptoms!
We spoke with pediatrician and author Dr. Tanya Altman about how to prevent a cold. She told us which products she recommends to boost her patients' immunity during cold and flu season. To keep healthy (or prevent getting sick when you feel it coming) she recommends getting plenty of sleep, washing your hands often, eating right, and getting the flu shot (it's not too late!). Dr. Altman also had some items to recommend for those looking to fend off cold and flu season at home. We added some of our own preferred products, and voila, here's your winter cheat sheet for how to prevent getting sick and avoid the common cold. Stay well this season!
Saline Nasal Spray
Simply Saline is "to spray in little noses to hydrate and flush out mucus and viruses both to prevent and treat nasal congestion," Dr. Altmann says.
This nasal spray comes in varieties for babies, children, and adults, so anyone can use it safely. Flush out those viruses!
A humidifier is a great tool to combat dry winter air, often made worse by heating systems. "Crane humidifiers to help relieve congestion and stuffy noses," Dr. Altmann tells us.
"Run the humidifiers at night in the bedroom while sleeping. They are my favorite as they're cute and easy to clean." This one has a one galloon tank and humidifies up to 500 square feet. The Cool Mist humidifier features an auto shut off feature, and it's very quiet so it won't disturb anyone's sleep.
Dr Altmann points out that probiotics play an important role in helping to support digestive health, which in return helps support overall health, preventing colds and fevers. "While you should be getting enough probiotics year round, they're extra important during cold & flu season," she explains. "Research has found that children that have enough daily probiotics have less sick days at school."
One of the best natural probiotic sources for people of any age is yogurt. "For the littlest ones in your home, I recommend Stonyfield YoBaby," says Dr. Altmann. It provides protein, vitamin D, and a daily dose of BB 12 probiotics.
Snacking on citrus is a great way to keep healthy. Dr. Altmann recommends picking up Cuties (AKA Halos/Clementines), especially for kids.
"Eat just three a day to provide a daily dose of vitamin C which is important for cold and flu season," she says. "Plus, they're easy to peel and kids love to eat them as a healthy snack."
Monitor temperature with this handy device. This thermometer (actually they call it a Thermonitor because it also monitors) uses your smart phone, and information can be stored in the cloud.
The FeverFrida monitors your child's temperature every 4 seconds, via a tiny patch under the arm (included), and sends alerts when it gets out of range. The free app means data can be sent right to your smart phone.
In the box you get the FeverFrida, 5 adhesive patches, manual, battery, and battery removal tool. If you are looking for a more traditional thermometer, consult our sister site gizmos.com and their thermometer guide.
Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer, 8 oz
|$6||See On Amazon|
|$17/4 pack||See On Jet|
|$4||See On Staples|
|$3||See On Target|
When you can’t wash your hands, you can use a hand sanitizer to ward off germs.
Purell is the #1 hand sanitizer brand in hospitals, and it kills more than 99.99% of germs. You only need one squirt of this gel hand sanitizer to equal two squirts of other brands, claims Purell. Stock up and keep those germs at bay!
Nasal Cleaning System
Pump up your nasal rinsing abilities with the CLEARinse system. The pump system uses pure saline to flush out noses — helping ease discomfort by unblocking a stuffy nose.
The aspirator (designed by an ER pediatrician) is safe, and it's similar to machines used in doctors' offices. Best of all, it's a drug-free way to relieve stuffy noses. The set includes a CLEARinse handle, 2 wash heads, 1 power charger, and 10 3cc saline ampoules. It's machine washable for easy cleanup.
Herbal Immune Support
Rainbow Light Counter Attack
|$40/90 ct||See On Amazon|
|$40/90 ct||See On Rainbow Light|
|$40/90 ct||See On Vitacost|
When taken at the first sign of cold or flu, this blend of herbs and botanicals can bolster the immune system, fighting back against illness.
The Response Mobilizing Herbal Complex contains andrographis and elderberry, and the Clear Relief Complex helps with respiratory and sinus discomfort. Also included in the tablets is a Defense Bolstering Botanical Blend, featuring Berberine, and of course the old standbys, vitamin C and zinc. Take two tablets per day to ease symptoms.
Hearty Chicken Soup
Send a healthy meal packed with vitamins and antioxidants: chicken soup!
Spoonful of Comfort will ship a 64 oz. jar of soup (4-6 servings) plus six rolls, six cookies, a ladle for serving, and a note, all wrapped in delightful packaging. This package would make anyone feel better.
The new Young Living’s Desert Mist Ultrasonic Diffuser from Young Living diffuses aroma from essential oils, but it also functions as a humidifier — a great tool to have when the winter air gets dry.
The diffuser will send out water microparticles (mixed with essential oils) into the air for up to 8 hours when set on low. There are also 11 different light settings, like the soothing candle-like mode. Tangerine and peppermint essential oils are included (5 ml of each). Aromatherapy plus humidifying in one! Scents like peppermint and lemon are said to detoxify and boost immunity as well.
Baby + Kids’ Probiotic
Help prevent the flu from entering our home with this probiotic and colostrum powder for babies and children. Research has shown colostrum to be a flu preventative; it provides a range of antibodies.
The probiotics included help with tummy issues as well as boosting immune systems. Simply mix the unflavored power into a cool drink or food.
Foaming Hand Soap
Honest Co.’s foaming hand soap will kill germs, and the hypo-allergenic formula is made from plant-based ingredients.
Available in Free & Clear for those who don’t want fragrance. Scents include Grapefruit Grove, Coastal Surf, and Lavender Field.
While these are our favorites, there are a number of other products to stop a cold before it starts, including: colloidal silver and l-lysine tablets.