Family Flu/Cold Preps??

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Family Flu/Cold Preps??

Post by iamdrglass » Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:41 am

First off I would like to introduce myself. My name is Dan, father of 4 boys 7,5,4,18 months. We like outdoor activities hiking, geocaching,hunting, shooting, fishing, and cub scouts.

My wife and I were walking through Cosco the other night discussing preps and future purchases. What type of cold and flu meds do other families store and how much is to much? I was wondering about the shelf life of products like sudafed, motrin, aleave, multivitamins and other stuff like that.

Does anyone know the storage life on thermometer batteries or what type of thermometer is the best to have in a kit?

What type of home remedies or herbs do you consider effective?


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Re: Family Flu/Cold Preps??

Post by Chantrea » Fri Nov 26, 2010 8:03 pm

I don't have specific cold and flu preps per se, since I don't medicate my kids for coughs/sniffles/stuffy noses.

I do have both ibuprofen and acetaminophen. I only stocked minimal amounts before (generally two extra bottles of each, in a children's formula) last year--when our family got H1N1, and I realized how much it would take to treat a high fever (I do not medicate for fevers under 102, and then only if there is discomfort, my kids are old enough to tell me now if they are achy/in pain/really uncomfortable) if all three kids were sick at the same time. Our experience with H1N1 was 7-10 days of fever bouncing between 101 - 105 plus a lot of muscle and joint discomfort (though we only really medicated for about 5-7 days depending on the kid). That's pretty unusual. Our prior use of meds was more for a day or night or two, tops, to get them over the worst of something. At any rate, now I stock enough for about a month of round the clock dosage (NOT that I would ever give my kids a month of either!!!) for each kid. It makes me cringe a bit, because I know that I will likely throw away almost all of it when it expires rather than it getting used/rotated, but...oh well.

I've never been crazy about giving kids cold/flu multisymptom remedies, so I don't stock them at all. My older daughter can do a neti pot. My boys are not quite there, so I do keep some saline spray (NOT medicated!!) for them. I also have some immodium for the family. My kids have grown up drinking herbal teas (with the addition of honey once they were 3 or 4) so we use those in lieu of cough drops/sore throat sprays).

During the cold/flu season I double the amount of filtered water we have on hand/easily accessible (we have high iron content in our tap water, and whenever I am sick the slight off taste can make me want to hurl even more, so it's just an aesthetic thing). I also keep a couple of containers of gatorade powder, and a couple of costco sized boxes of saltines that we rotate. It's really more comfort food than anything else (lots of nutritious "better" stuff in the pantry at al times).

We have several digital thermomters, all of which we've had for more than 8 years! (hmmm) I think the batteries must last awhile...or maybe we've been lucky! I did see a non-battery, mercury alternative thermometer at the drug store today and was tempted--does anyone know if these are just as accurate as a mercury one? I'd still want to have a working digital one though, they're a hell of a lot faster. These are cheap oral thermometers, btw...not the forehead or tympanic ones. Maybe those batteries run out faster?

Anyway, hope this helps.

And welcome to ZS, Dan. :) I have a daughter (almost 9) and twin sons (7). :) I bet it is a lot of fun at your house with all those boys! ;)

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Re: Family Flu/Cold Preps??

Post by col fallen angel » Sat Nov 27, 2010 11:11 pm

I keep a couple of packs of kids liquid paracetamol and ibuprofen as well as generic paracetamol, aspirin, ibuprofen and flu tablets for the adults though there is only myself and my 5 year old at home I'm the go to if my family run out or visitors are poorly so I too keep a box of immodium and some allergy tablets, also everything I have at home I keep a strip or few sachets extra in my EDC.

I'm not to keen on giving kids medication unless they really need it things like fevers I break them out for, generally I make sure she has a good diet plenty of fluids and takes her multivitamins (never need to remind her about fruity chewy vitamins) the medication gets used by someone before it goes out of date so when a box is used I'm down to one box so I buy one to replace it I'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

I have a digital thermometer and a strip thermometer the batteries in my digital seems ok after a year but I keep spares anyway they don't use much power they should last a fair time, obviously the strip thermometer doesn't require batteries but I just read recently that some discount company over here was fined for selling faulty ones among other things so I have yet to run a check on mine just in case, I'm guessing a cup of warm water with a digital thermometer taking a reading and also taking a reading from the side of the cup would work to see if they are accurate?

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Re: Family Flu/Cold Preps??

Post by Trident » Sun Nov 28, 2010 1:15 am

We keep on hand mucenex.
On another forum they wrote of the state/feds requireing id if you purchase anthing with a D in it.
Due to the use of it and sudafed type otc meds being used to manufacture meth.
I really up the vitamin d3 intake during flu season and use my neti pot daily.
Had a bad head/sinus cold and the neti pot helped clear it up with the addition of medicated nasal spray.
The nasal spray was generic and really knocked the sinus issue quickly.
I have recently begun using a cpap machine with a nasal mask and could not use it when my nose was plugged up.

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Re: Family Flu/Cold Preps??

Post by Persistent Nomad » Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:06 pm

+1 on the vitamins and vitamin D. My wife, older son and I all take quality multivitamins daily. All of us take vitamin D (in liquid form) daily...infant-grade for my two sons (22 months and 1 month).

Both my wife and I use neti pots on a regular basis, especially if we're starting to get clogged up. We have saline spray for the boys.

I've taken sambucol (elderberry syrup) when sick before but don't have enough experience to say how effective it is. Some studies have shown it to be effective for treating the flu. I encourage you to do your own research and not just take the word of some random dude on an internet forum (me) :)
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Re: Family Flu/Cold Preps??

Post by AgentBlack » Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:33 pm

Chewable multi-Vs, remember gummies don't contain iron. If you sons are picky eaters (like my daughter) get the hard kind so they get enough iron. BUT I also keep gummies so she can double up and not get iron poisoning.
Halls defense in strawberry for a mega dose of vitamin C, which did a good job on her last cold.
Mucenex powders in orange cream.
Children's Advil liquid or Tylenol chewables for fevers and headaches. The listed doses on the bottle are low, I got a more accurate chart from the ER.
Little noses saline rinse or an irrigation syringe and warm water with salt to flush out the snot. The best way to deal with a stuffy nose is to flush it out, but kids don't like some holding down, kicking and screaming may be involved. But it works!
Kid's pepto chewables for sick tummies.
Gatoraid powder, lasts longer than premade juice. Hydration is key!!
Reuseable jel cold packs in the fridge, for headaches or to bring down a high fever fast when packed under the armpits.
A really nice (and quiet) humidifier with built in nightlight.
Lots of extra sheets, blankets, pilowcases, and towels for those night time quick vomit clean up. Plus, plastic pillow case liner to keep the pillow from smelling like puke.
And of course, chicken noddle soup and saltine crackers to settle queezy tummies.

Edit: On thermometers, get a good one that uses button batteries and keep spares (watch batteries last forever). or the old fashioned ones with no batteries. BUT don't mix up the rectal one (for the little one) with the oral one (for the big guys). :lol:

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Re: Family Flu/Cold Preps??

Post by magdelaina » Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:39 am

We've got a small plastic tub in the closet with some specific Flu/Sick Day preps. The item are all duplicates of things found elsewhere in the house, but better two than one, and the box is a convenient all in one storage area when you don't feel like crawling far out of bed. The same closet houses fresh linens and extra blankets.

Contents (from memory):
OTC Meds for specific symptoms
Emergen-C, other drink mixes
Water Bottles (a fresh one for everyone, no sharing)
Freezer Cold Packs
Copies of medical contacts and insurance documents
Paper Towels
Toilet Paper
Tissue Paper
Lotion (for red noses)
Surgical masks and gloves
Anti-Bac wipes
Hand Sanitizer
Body Wipes
Plastic puke tubs
Trash Bags

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Re: Family Flu/Cold Preps??

Post by RachelBB » Wed Dec 15, 2010 12:04 am

Well, when we were worried about swine flu last year, I bought two huge bottles of hand sanitizer. There they sit, on the counter, not a quarter gone.
I also bought a couple bottles of mucinex. Gave my honey some last week.
We do try to stay stocked on the ibuprofen. It can be a lifesaver! Chantrea has a good point about how much you can go through, esp once they're past the toddler stage. My big boy has swallowed pills fine since he was like four, but my little guy is now nine and just can't choke them down, esp when a sore throat is involved. He'll go through a bottle of motrin pretty quick cause he takes a lot at a time.

I think the best medicine is prevention! Good diets, handwashing, and lots of exposure to dirt to build the immune system :roll:

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Re: Family Flu/Cold Preps??

Post by Mini_Kilt » Thu Mar 03, 2011 4:32 pm

In our house, around the beginning of fall (the same week I change out our seasonal items/food in the BOBs) I make sure we have plenty of:

Soap for hand washing
Hand sanitizer (rarely used in our house since hand washing is more effective, but good to have if the water goes out)
Everybody's favorite clear fluids (Ginger ale, Apple juice, Juice boxes, Gatorade and very simple soups/broth etc.)
Vitamins (obviously covered but so very important) including Multis, Vitamin D, Zinc, Calcium etc.
Our favorite alternative treatments (for use in diffusers, baths, straight into food etc.) ex. Oil of oregano, menthol, eucalyptus oil etc.
Cold meds (usually I am the only one who breaks down and actually uses something, and NeoCitran is my fav.) incl children's
Pain killers (Including children's for fever reducers etc) while this IS NOT true for all meds I know that Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen break down in such a way that they are simply less effective and not harmful when two years or less over expiry
Household cleaners (a little vinegar and TTO go a long way if you don't like using chemicals)
New, unseen Games / Activities for the kids that require little supervision. (When I'm super sick and the kids are not, it can be difficult to keep them from boredom induced craziness)

I also take the time to make sure we are stocked up on our favorite "Sick foods" while we practice Eat what you store, store what you eat, there are certain foods that we only EVER eat when we are sick (Lipton's soup mixes you just add water to etc) and I have (more than once) been stuck not willing to eat much because we were all too sick to go grocery shopping and didn't have much of an appetite for any of the food we did have.


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Re: Family Flu/Cold Preps??

Post by Silverbug » Fri Mar 11, 2011 6:57 pm

Sorry for being late to the party, but one things that my entire family uses (and stores) is elderberry extract. Great stuff for shortening the duration of a cold or flu. My wife and I use it all fall and winter and will only be sick for a day or two whenever the bigger bugs are going around, my kids still get sick more often, but have missed significantly less school than their peers because they recover faster.

For fever, it never hurts to grow and dry feverfew and yarrow. If you have access to willow trees, the underlayer of bark is your natural Asprin, but I would advise against giving that to children. The feverfew and yarrow, when used in a tea, works nearly as well but hasn't had any negative effects on my kids. And yes, we still store Motrin and Tylenol for those really aggressive flu bugs and other high fever inducing moments.

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