Best cold hacks by Mim Jenkinson, Blogger and Mumpreneur (Busy Mum Balanced Life)
It’s winter in Australia right now and if your house is anything like ours, The Cold has hit. In various guises of sneezes, coughs and sniffles – it’s hit all of us. Yuck.
This year, despite wrapping up warm, staying hydrated and resting more, our colds have been much harder to shake too. Same for you?
Every member of our family has been suffering from a cold for weeks and having chatted to the lovely people at Flo, who are kindly sponsoring this article, I want to share with you my experiences and some tips on how your family can stay well this winter.
Nasal or sinus washing is one thing I had heard of for colds but I wasn’t totally convinced to be honest and let me tell you, I’m now a convert! If like me, you first thought is “eurrghhh, gross” or simply “no thanks”, read on. I wish I’d started doing years ago!
My Best Cold Hacks and How to Reduce “Germ Spread”!
1. Sinus Washing
So, what is sinus washing?
Sinus washing, also known as nasal or sinus irrigation, cleansing, rinsing, flushing or “douching” (not my preferred term!) is an at-home treatment using a very gentle solution with a bottle device that helps cleanse or flush your nose and sinuses. Using this reasonably large volume of fluid helps to wash away germs, irritants, pollen and pollutants that are breathed in through the nose. So it’s helpful not just for colds but also for those who suffer severe nasal or sinus congestion from sinusitis or hayfever.
My experience? Well after having a cold for almost two months, it was time to do something. My sinus pressure symptoms were making me feel miserable and I needed something extra. So I took the big step and picked up a Flo Sinus Care Kit from my pharmacy. We’re familiar with Flo’s nasal sprays and my whole family are on to them but I had not tried a larger volume wash.
So what is Flo Sinus Care? Flo Sinus Care is a non-medicated, preservative-free solution for cleansing the nasal passages and sinus cavities. It’s gentle to use and helps thin and wash away excess mucus and breathed in germs and irritants, providing both nasal and sinus congestion.
I’ll admit it, I was anxious about this idea. By “anxious”, I mean I was too chicken to try it, but once I did, I was very surprised – it felt very therapeutic to do! I used warm, pre-boiled water. It was such a gentle experience with NO discomfort at all.
I repeated the procedure twice daily for three days and it actually cleared up my sinuses. The sinus pressure went. I could breathe much deeper and my sense of smell returned.
Now I’m using this Flo kit daily. And as I’m washing my nose and sinuses regularly, it means I’m reducing the chances of sharing my germs with the rest of the family. Sharing is not caring, when it comes to germ spreading!
It’s also great for washing away irritants like pollutant, pollen or dust (I have hayfever) so I will continue to use it all year round. It’s just become a part of my morning hygiene routine like teeth brushing. Like I said, I’m a nose flushing, sinus washing, nasal irrigating convert!!
2. Hand Washing / Sanitising
It’s an obvious one but when we have colds or infections, we need to be extra aware of having clean hands to help prevent infection from spreading.
Practising good hygiene habits is essential in helping to reduce the spread of infection in and outside of the family home. Keep pestering the kids and eventually they’ll get the message!
I also like to carry hand sanitiser in my bag for when we’re out and about.
3. Influenza Vaccination
Consider chatting to your GP about whether getting the flu jab is right for you and your family.
It’s much more easily available now from your GP, local pharmacy and even your workplace. It may not be for everyone but you should always discuss with your GP whether it’s a good idea for you and your children.
4. Keeping A Clean House
Disinfecting surfaces and keeping our house clean and tidy is a must when a cold has hit.
We’re tidy most of the time but having two little kids makes it a constant daily challenge. Well when I say “tidy”, can I just use that term loosely?! But we all muck in and pack the toys away and regularly clean surfaces (and toys) to help keep them clean, dust free and germ free.
5. Correct Coughing Practice!
My two kids, now aged three and five years old, are old enough to learn what to do if they sneeze or cough. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still something I need to keep reminding them of!
Whilst they’re automatically inclined to cough into my FACE, we try to teach them to cough or sneeze into their elbow. You can find out more about why this practice is important here.
Essentially, if you do not have a tissue to cough or sneeze into, cough/sneeze into your elbow, not your hands. Because when was the last time you saw a small child with a tissue at the ready?
Using a nasal or sinus wash had never crossed my mind in the past but I’m SO glad I started doing it. The kids are at day-care and school and they’re constantly bringing home bugs so at least now I feel more equipped to reduce my chances of catching another epic cold. The good news is that Flo has a product for everyone in the family. When they start getting snotty and sniffly they get straight onto their Flo Kids Spray. Flo Kids Nasal Saline Spray is also non-medicated, preservative-free and because it sprays at any angle it’s very easy for them to use themselves.
Here’s a sinus washing demo by a cute 6 year old (besides if she can do it, anyone can!)