Cold and Flu Tips for Babies and Kids from Vicks
This post was most recently updated on October 20th, 2016
As a mom to a new baby I’m crossing my fingers that my baby girl makes it through the winter without getting sick. So far so good. It’s been awhile since I’ve had a baby and there are a lot of things I have forgotten. So I had a lot to learn yesterday when Dr. Meeker, a pediatrician, spoke to Utah bloggers about cold and flu season.
Humidify Baby’s Room
They gave everyone a humidity monitor to take home too. I have had a great time testing the humidity levels in every room – especially the baby’s room.Since we live in a desert called Utah, we have to make sure our homes aren’t too dry. The monitor tells you the range of humidity in your child’s room. To prevent sickness it should be between 40-60%. At this level it’s tough for the flu virus to survive. We have a humidifier in 2 out of 3 rooms and we were within range. I notice when we don’t run it we drop pretty fast.
One question I’ve always had is – which is better – warm mist or cool mist humidifiers? Dr. Meeker said it doesn’t matter, it’s your preference if you want it cooler or warmer room.
I love products that can double up. This one for example: a humidifier that projects stars onto the ceiling so it’s not only a humidifier but it helps sooth kids as they are trying to fall asleep. Alexis won’t let us put her to bed without her ceiling being lit up.
Taking your Child’s Temperature the Easy Way
Vicks let us all try their behind the ear thermometer. Do you remember the old style thermometers that were simple sticks that were a pain to use? I remember my mom sticking them in my mouth when I was a kid. It wasn’t comfortable. I couldn’t wait to get it out of my mouth with its cold feel – it made me want to gag. Instead of going in the ear, this thermometer takes your temperature by placing the sensor behind your ear. It’s very quick. Not only that it saves up to 8 readings in case you’re like me and forget and want to keep checking to see if a fever has gone down. I use this a lot because you don’t have to have your child or baby sit still and it’s really quick and easy.
Is it the Flu or a Cold? Look at your Child’s Ribs
If your child has the flu, you should get them treated within 48 hours. That’s when they can make the biggest difference. This is especially true for babies. She said you can lift a child or baby’s shirt and watch them breath. If you see their ribs puffing in and out that’s not a good sign. Get it treated.
Dr. Meeker talked about eczema or patches of very dry skin too. The key is to lock in water. She recommended after giving your child a bath, put a thick layer of cream on them (the thicker the better, like a paste). You should look for a cream or lotions with less perfumes or additives. We asked what type of cream is best and she said Vanicream. Then you can wrap the worst spots in a light cotton or for an older child, Saran Wrap. This helps seal it in.
If the eczema is red, cracked or red then you should use a hydrocortisone cream – ask the doctor what strength and how long you should use it. You can put an ointment over the cream to help seal it in. A Utah dermatologist also has a line of eczema products that moms love and is very effective.
Cough or Bronchitis?
Last of all she talked about coughs and bronchitis. Interestingly, asthma can masquerade as bronchitis. Watch for this pattern…
cough, cough, cough, throw up
If there’s a cough that goes for longer than a week, treat it, that’s not normal.
What about prevention? Teach kids to wash their hands. Have them drink more water and get enough sleep.
I was scribbling notes the entire time and I learned so much. Hope it was helpful for you too. And moms, don’t be too hard on yourself. Trust your instincts on if your child is sick. You know them best!