Weekly Household Quick Tip


Tackling this daily task in the Weekly Household Planner:

Check cold medicine supply/restock

Wouldn’t you know, this task comes up just in the nick of time – or really not!  My middle son just came down with a sore throat and cough/congestion – a viral infection.  Don’t you hate seeing your kids sick?  You can feel so helpless.

One thing we can do as moms is to have supplies on hand to conquer some of the irritation that comes with having a cold or bacterial infection.  I generally try to have some basic medication to combat symptoms on hand so I do not have to run out at the last minute and pay full price.

Here are basics to have on hand for the coming cold season:


Make sure you have a working thermometer!  There are several to choose from – a Thermoscan Ear Thermometer, which is used in the ear, quick and easy.  There is a Temporal Artery Thermometer, which is also very easy and user friendly, these are most commonly found in the Dr. office.  I purchased this one last year and it works great and I love that even my two year old doesn’t freak out when it is time to use it!  There are also simple digital thermometers – just make sure you have one in working order.


Two popular kinds are pseudoephedrine (in Sudafed and Sinarest) or phenylephrine (in Dristan Cold Multi-Symptom and Rynatan).

For Coughs

You need the right cough medicine for the type of cough you have. For a dry, hacking cough, look for one that contains the cough suppressant dextromethorphan. If the cough is producing mucus, use something with guaifenesin, an expectorant, to loosen secretions. Often you can find cough medicine that contains both – an expectorant and cough suppressant, try to have on hand ones that contain only one ingredient so you cna fit the medication to the symptom.

Emergen-C Vitamin

I keep a supply of Emergen-C in our house all year round.  If you are feeling a bit like something might be coming on, just mix this powder with a bit of water and it gives your body a boost of vitamin C and other minerals to help your body fight off any bugs that might be trying to invade.  This is especially essential for me with having Lupus – my white blood cell count is very low and when I do get sick it can be a very bad situation.  So I try my best to keep myself healthy with nutrition and exercise, but when I feel the slightest sniffle, sore throat or extra fatigue, I run to the Emergen-C.   My daughter was also sent off to college with a HUGE box – you know college kids eat and how much sleep they don’t get!

For natural remedies try using these types of relief.  I recently watched an episode of Dr. Oz where he mentioned these items and their effectiveness for different symptoms.

Saline Nasal Spray 

Saline nasal spray combats stuffiness and congestion by adding moisture to your nasal passages.  In addition it also helps remove bacteria.  Using saline drops won’t cause a rebound effect, like using a decongestant, where all the symptoms return as soon as you stop using it.

Licorice Tea 

Hot liquids always provide relief for sore throats, but Licorice Tea tea contains therapeutic compounds that soothe soreness. It also helps to prevent dehydration – my son is drinking tea in the gallons right now!

Sage Extract 

Sage extract works as an expectorant, which helps your body move mucus from your respiratory tract and helps to calm your cough. Instead of using an over-the-counter expectorant, try a drop of sage in tea or hot water.

Elderberry Juice to Boost Your Immunity

Elderberry is an herb used to fight colds. It contains vitamin C to help strengthen your immune system.  I do not have this in my medicine cabinet and will be getting some Elderberry Juice Concentrate today for my son.

Please note, I am not a doctor, not do I claim to be in a position to treat medical conditions.  The information here is only that, for informational purposes.  You need to make knowledgeable decisions about your families health and medication needs and should consult your family doctor with any questions.

What is your secret weapon treating colds?

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  • Sally

    Thank you so much for this timely post! Our son has come down with a cold after just one week of school. While I was familiar with several of the remedies you mention, the licorice tea and sage extract were new to me. One method we use once the kids are old enough is gargling with warm salt water. I read recently that gargling with just plain water every day is a good preventive measure if the salt bothers you. Take care!

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