My Simple Tip To Blast Away Children’s Colds

posted by Andrea | 12/17/2018

Nobody wants sick kids — especially sick kids over the holidays (although our children’s bout with Hand Foot and Mouth Disease over Thanksgiving did weigh in our favor this year!)

The past few months have been sort of “sickly” for our family — at least much more than any other year. Dave, Nora, and Simon all missed 1 day of school for being sick — I honestly can’t remember the last time Dave took a sick day.

I’m sure part of this is because we have 2 kids in school, so there’s more chance of someone bringing something home (hence the Hand Foot Mouth business). There’s also the fact that Clara is my first thumb-sucker, putting so many germs into her mouth every day… and probably passing those germs to siblings.

On top of all of that, we’re getting out of the house for some sort of activity almost every single day — Story Time at the library, play group at the local Early Childhood Center, Coffee Break at church, Toddler Time at Rebounderz etc. etc. And that doesn’t even include things like grocery shopping, swinging through the bank, stopping by the dollar store, or the variety of other errands I run each week with various numbers of children in tow (all being exposed to germs at every new location.)

Aren’t you proud of me! 🙂

When it comes to gross kid germs, I’m honestly not a germaphobe as I know it’s probably good to introduce them to germs now in order to build up their immune system.

That said, I still don’t love it when my kids are stuffed up and can’t sleep, sneezing all over the place, or just generally “under the weather”.

I don’t want them to feel lousy, and (selfishly) I don’t want to change/cancel my plans because I can’t do the things I wanted to do with sick children.

A couple years ago, when both Nora and Simon were on the couch with colds, I randomly decided to give them each a new water bottle I had been saving for “someday”.

They were SO excited about the new water bottle that they just drank and drank and drank (and peed and peed and peed) for the next 48 hours.

They got over that cold so fast and were back to normal almost the next day. 

I didn’t put two and two together until a few days later when I realized all that extra water drinking was most certainly helpful in pushing those cold germs out of their bodies more quickly… and the reason they were drinking more water was because of their new, fun, “water delivery vehicles”!

Since then, we almost always break out some type of “new” water bottle, special straw, surprise juice boxes, or other fun cup whenever they come down with a cold — and it seems to be an extremely simple, frugal, drug-free, and effective way to push those germs out of their system ASAP.

After the cold passes, the special cups and straws get washed… and mysteriously do not make it back into the normal cabinet with the rest of the cups.

They then magically reappear again when the next cold strikes.

I’m not sure why this works for us — but it does!

There’s just something super fun about a new/different cup, straw, water bottle, etc. that gets my kids extra-excited about drinking water.

I should probably note that my kids are used to drinking water almost exclusively… so they generally LIKE water to begin with. 

The only time they drink anything other than water is for special occasions (birthday party, eating at a restaurant where a drink comes with their meal, invited over to someone else’s house, etc.) and even then, they often still choose water.

I know it won’t work for every child or every ailment… but this super simple, super frugal tip has worked fabulously well for our family for the past 3+ years.

With cold and flu season upon us (and lots of germs ready to spread at your holiday parties) it might not be a bad idea to pick up some fun straws or cheapy water bottles “just in case”! 

What are your best tips to blast away a cold?

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Filed under: FamilyParentingHealth

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29 comments

  1. Carissa Ashburn

    12/20/2018

    My children wash their hands as soon as they walk in the house and we use paper towels. We also use hand sanitizer in the car as soon as we get in the car. We also had special cups that were only used when there was sickness.
    My latest frugal idea is when making smoothies, I buy canned fruit in real juice and freeze it. It is so much cheaper than buying frozen fruit. Of course this won’t work for strawberries, raspberries and such. My son had a tooth extraction and couldn’t have citrus frut or anything with seeds but I liked paying a $1 for canned peaches rather than $4 for a smaller amount of frozen peachs.

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    Andrea Reply:

    oh yes, great point Carissa! My kids know to immediately wash their hands whenever they come inside (and before each meal). It’s a given, I don’t even need to remind them anymore!

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  2. Debbie

    12/18/2018

    When my throat starts hurting I know a germ just got inside me. I’ve not been full blown sick for years and maybe it’s because of all the water I drink. I have had the phlegm after the soreness of the throat and I learned it’s a sign thr body is fighting off the bacteria. Then to get rid of the phelgm, breath and sleep better doing the neti pot, steaming, and putting Vicks rub on the feet are supposed to be the solutions. This is what I’ll be doing in the next few days.

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  3. Kim

    12/18/2018

    I have worked in the school system for the past year and a half and have never had a cold yet. However I typically drink 120 ounces of water a day. I am just recently pregnant and the morning sickness has set in and I had to decrease my water intake, needless to say I now have a cold.

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    Andrea Reply:

    wow — that’s a lot of water. Good for you!
    Congrats on the baby… and sorry to hear you are sick. That’s a bummer!
    Hope it passes (the cold AND the morning sickness) soon!

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  4. Kim

    12/17/2018

    I swear by a daily cup of warm water with 1-2 tsp of Bragg’s apple cider vinegar. I drink it first thing upon waking.

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  5. Michelle

    12/17/2018

    The NeilMed Sinus Rinse for Kids helps at our house. Once a day before bed really seems to help with stuffy noses

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  6. JJ

    12/17/2018

    I wonder if that is why my oldest gets sick the least and recovers the fastest! He drinks a lot of water all day long and always has. All of my kids are big water drinkers. That’s great yours are, too!!! We use ACF. A friend recommended it, and it is honestly disgusting. My kids hate it. But. I use a syringe to give it to them orally and give a reward like a TV(great thing to do when they are sick anyway, haha). We took that stuff when we were all healthy and went to a friend’s birthday party. My friend had texted that one kid had thrown up and had a fever. Another kid was coming down with the cold. Her husband was sick. But she still invited us at our own risk. I am a huge germaphobe. But she was new to the area, and they had made the cupcakes special so my kids with allergies could have them. I wanted to go. I had my husband, kids, and I all take that stuff, and we never got sick!?!?! It really works!!! Another friend gave it to her daughter instead of Tamiflu, and her pediatrician was impressed how few symptoms she had when testing positive for the flu. You can order individual packets or the bottle on Amazon. It’s liquid gold, haha! It’s called Buried Treasure Children’s ACF.

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    JJ Reply:

    *TV show

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    Andrea Reply:

    This is great — I’ve never heard of ACF before but I’ll check it out!

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  7. Alissa

    12/17/2018

    Zicam! It works really well for us if you start it as soon as you feel the first cold symptom and use about 3 doses total! And yes to the water!!

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    Andrea Reply:

    my mom swears by Zicam! The only issue with it for me is that I usually never know if my kids are getting sick until they are full-blow SICK and then it’s too late for Zicam!

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  8. Mary Ensley

    12/17/2018

    We’ve been hunkered down the last week and all this week too trying to avoid the RSV, mono, coughs and stomach virus that have all been making their way through my friends group. I’m 7 months pregnant and it’s miserable getting a cold pregnant and not being able to take any medicine! We are driving 600 miles to my parents on Friday and my mom has a chronic illness making her very susceptible to common illness that could potentially giver her pneumonia. I’ve been making sure my kids have healthy guts with daily servings of kombucha and yogurt to boost their immune systems. We’ve been avoiding germy places like the Chick fila playground and YMCA gym’s nursery. I’m not usually a high strung germaphopic mom but right now I am!

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    Andrea Reply:

    oh wow — good for you. Hopefully you all stay healthy and can enjoy a nice holiday with your family!

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  9. Ann

    12/17/2018

    I’m waiting for you to try those twisty straws that have their name to give a review!

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    Andrea Reply:

    I don’t think I know what straws you are referring to Ann — or maybe I’m just drawing a blank?? Did I mention them in this post (or share a picture)??

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  10. Jen

    12/17/2018

    I always either replace toothbrushes or run them through the dishwasher. This always seems to help too!

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    Andrea Reply:

    oh good one — we do this regularly too. Kids are gross!

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  11. Christine

    12/17/2018

    Sadly, avoiding sugar works the best for us, which is obviously not easy this time of year. But we’ve got 2 kids with birthdays this week, and for the last 2 years, everyone has gotten sick for Christmas because of all the cookie baking and birthday festivities (I’m sure lack of sleep doesn’t help), so I’m being a grinch this year. No public play places and very limited sugar til Christmas day, then everybody can go crazy. 😉 (and then I can get out of new years eve plans. Haha! )
    I agree 100% with your water method! I like to add a pinch of sea salt too to keep electrolytes balanced.

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    Andrea Reply:

    oh yeah, I know others who need to stay away from sugar because it makes them get (or at least feel) sick. That’s probably better for your over-all health, but yes… sort of a bummer with 2 birthdays and Christmas all in the same month. 🙁

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  12. Beth

    12/17/2018

    I’m feeling lousy–I’ll try your advice today! Thanks!

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    Andrea Reply:

    lots and lots of water!! Feel better soon!

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  13. Chris

    12/17/2018

    What a great idea! Hope they feel better soon.

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks! They currently are NOT sick — everyone is healthy and well over here! This is just a tip I use when/if they do catch a cold 🙂

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  14. Linda

    12/17/2018

    I’ve included Elderberry in my routine the past two years and have only had 1 minor cold that passed in 3 days. I’ve used Sambucol, syrup, gummies or melt in your mouth tablets. As well as one pint of syrup I bought local. Before starting this every cold or flu was going to bronchitis or pneumonia!
    It boosts your immune system. My sister uses coconut oil daily which I’ve done in the past. But I find the black elderberry the best!

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    Annette Silveira Reply:

    Yes! My granddaughter is here two days a week and at preschool two days a week so we’ve seen an uptick in colds. I got Nature’s Way elderberry gummies and syrup on Amazon with the last go-round and it passed so much faster. It will be a daily thing until spring.

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    Andrea Reply:

    I’ll have to look into these — my kids love gummies! thanks!

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    Rhonda Reply:

    I have a pharmacist friend who recommends the elderberry also. I ordered some from Amazon last week!

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    Shelly Smith Reply:

    Yes! I’ve had good results with Elderberry too! (We are currently taking the gummies- bought on Amazon) My kids think they taste too sour and resisted taking a daily gummy for “preventative” measures, but I was faithful (since before Thanksgiving.) When all 3 kids got colds/sore throats/stuffy noses last week, I was the only one who did not get sick in our house! Now they are more willing to take their daily gummy! 😉

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