The 9 Products I Keep In My “Cold and Flu Kit” to Help My Kids Feel Better When They’re Sick

published Mar 22, 2023
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father taking care of his sick toddler son. Helping him blow his nose
Credit: Halfpoint Images/Getty Images

A muffled sneeze, a slight clearing of the throat, the sound of little feet making their way toward your bedroom in the middle of the night. It’s enough to make the hair stand up on the back of the neck of any parent. After all, these are the signs your kid is getting (insert scream) sick.

Every family has their home remedies, the tried-and-true tricks that parents come to rely on that make kids feel comforted when they’ve come down with whatever is going around at the moment. That’s why, in addition to pain relievers like Children’s Tylenol and Advil, I always try to have these 9 things on hand to keep a cold or flu from turning our whole house upside down. 

I may not always have everything at a moment’s notice, but knowing what works (and anticipating my kid’s needs) can make all the difference when germs invade your home.

1 / 9

After a dose of pain reliever, I try to get my kids in the bath ASAP and this soak is the reason. Is it the mustard seed? Or the combination of essential oils such as clove, rosemary, and eucalyptus? Whatever the case, a warm soak in this amazing bath blend always seems to help reduce their sick aches and congestion.

2 / 9

Here’s another way I attempt to help my kids chill when they’re not feeling well. I love this stone diffuser because it looks pretty and it wafts the perfect combo of steamy oils through the air. Sick or not, some of our favorite scents to drop in are lavender, eucalyptus, orange, and clove. We run our diffuser in the bathroom, but you can use it anywhere around the house.

3 / 9
Uncommon Goods

To be honest, the use of heating pads is by no means limited to colds and cases of the flu. Our family uses these weekly, sometimes daily, to relieve growing pains and sore muscles. This handsewn version from Uncommon Goods – filled with organic, sterilized cherry pits – can be chilled or heated and comes in various colors and patterns.

4 / 9

When you put a sick child to bed at night, you never know what might happen next. Will they sleep through the night or wake up screaming in two hours? One way to help relieve congestion and help kids get a good night’s sleep is with a coat of chest rub. The massaging effect definitely helps, but my kids swear the aroma of mint and eucalyptus helps them sleep through the night.

5 / 9
was $21.66

My kids have mixed feelings about this, and they’ll ask me to rinse their sinuses with anticipation and pure dread. If you’re not familiar, here’s how it works. Simply fill the bottle with warm, purified water and the salt packet, tilt your child’s head to the side over a sink or tub, and squeeze gently. The water should follow through the nasal passage, clearing snot and the like. It’s not for everyone but according to the manufacturer, it’s safe for children two and up.

6 / 9
was $13.51

It’s always a challenge to keep kids hydrated when they’re sick. But when frozen, these electrolyte pops do the trick every time. Available in four flavors, they’re also ideal for kids who are feeling dehydrated after sports or on warm summer days.

7 / 9
was $10.49

Sick or otherwise, my kids love a cough drop. So, they definitely won’t say no to a lollipop when they’re sick. These throat lozenges cleverly disguised as lollipops come in surprisingly delicious flavors such as mango, strawberry, watermelon, and more.

8 / 9
was $11.79

Between the dehydration battle and endless blowing, my kids tend to get chapped lips and red noses when they’re sick. We dab a little Aquaphor on, and not only is it almost instantly soothing but it heals those sickly ailments quickly too.

9 / 9
was $5.99

In the last couple of years, my kids have really taken an interest in drinking tea. When they complain of an itchy throat or when a cough begins to creep up, we make them a warm cup of chamomile tea, sweetening it up with a little honey and oat milk.

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