Sick days suck. Which is why I like to have my Cold and Flu Kit stocked and ready to go. There is nothing more stressful than having a kid who isn't feeling their best and having to rearrange your day at the last minute. So in order to maximize snuggle time, there are a few things I always try to have on hand to help with whatever symptoms my kids might have.
Plus, snag my free printables for tracking symptoms, medicine doses, and a shopping list to replenish your supplies so you are ready when the next sick day comes along!
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My kids are getting older and I have to admit, sick days are a lot easier now. They are finally old enough where I can leave them tucked under blankets on the couch and run out to grab whatever they might need. But even if they are old enough for that, they usually prefer that I stay with them and give them extra attention.
I was never good with sick days when my kids were really little. Trying to figure out what the symptoms were and where they might feel pain was always so hard for me. And I was always super disorganized with where I kept track of things like their temperature and if I had given them medicine. Plus I could never tell if they had a cold or allergies.
So as they've grown, we figured out a few sick day essentials that we always turn to first when they are feeling under the weather and how to track it all so we have a full picture.
Keep your Cold and Flue Kit Organized
Pick a Spot
I like to keep these sick day essentials in one spot in our house so that everyone knows where they are. It's not easy for the kids to reach and we've had several talks about the dangers of medicine and that they aren't to take any on their own without parental guidance.
But by keeping things in one place, I don't have to search around for the things I'm looking for. And if I happen to be out of the house, my husband can help too.
Set a Timer to Check Dates
Thankfully we don't have more than a few sick days a year. But that means that often our medicine expires before we have a chance to use it. There are a few ways you can keep track of your supplies. Either set an “appointment” in your phone calendar when each medicine is about to expire. Or schedule time, a few times a year to go through the sick day kit and check dates.
Have The Sick Day Tracker Ready to Go
I always keep at least one copy of my printable sick day tracker printed and ready to go so it's there when I need it. I keep it in the cupboard with the rest of my kit so it's all in one place and I don't have to spend any time searching for it or waiting to print it out.
Also, if it's already printed, you have a WAY bigger chance of Dad actually using it if you happen to be out of the house when a fever is first detected.
Supplies for Your Sick Day Kit
Keeping these things on hand helps me feel less stress and gives me more time to snuggle the little germ factory. Your cold and flu supplies for kids might look a little different based on symptoms and preferences.
Cold and Flu Supplies to Have on Hand
My boys are 10 and 13 so use your best judgment with the items. Always read the labels and see if the product is right for your child's age.
- BeKool Headache Sheets | My kids LOVE these headache sheets. We get a fair amount of headaches in our family and the boys love to grab one of these when they feel a headache coming on. Often a headache comes along with a cold or flu so these are a great way to help ease their discomfort. These stick on their forehead so they are great for smaller kids who might not be able to sit still.
- Arnicare Cream | This is a homeopathic pain-relieving cream that is great for sore muscles. If your child has a fever, chances are there will be some aches and pains so this is a great non-medicine way to try to alleviate symptoms.
- Petroleum Jelly | A petroleum jelly product is great for chapped lips and chapped skin under the nose from blowing it all day and night.
- Cough Medicine | Look for a cough medicine that doesn't also have a pain reliever in it. I like to give my kids cough medicine if they need it at night time, but don't like to give them a pain reliever if they don't need it.
- Pain Reliever | Keep at least one variety of pain reliever on hand for fevers. It's often suggested to alternate between Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen when treating a fever so I usually have both. And my kids are fine with melts or swallowing pills so we don't usually have the liquid around anymore.
- Saline Nose Spray | There is nothing worse when you have a cold than a stuffy nose! A saline nasal spray can help to keep things feeling moisturized and may help to get things moving enough to find some comfort.
- Peppermint Oil | We love peppermint oil for headaches (rub a little all over the scalp and neck – avoid getting near the eyes!) and also is great to inhale for stuffiness.
- Thermometer | My sister (a nurse practitioner) suggested this thermometer (looks like there are some updated thermometers out now!) to me and I love it because it is so easy to use. It's pretty no-frills and uses the colors of a stoplight to help you know what the temperature means.
While I don't keep it in my cupboard with the rest of the kit, I also try to keep a few other things on hand. Juices and electrolyte drinks are great for when they are sick. Water is best but my kids don't drink a ton of juice so I think it's a good way to give them water and a little bit of treat at the same time. Just be mindful of how much sugar is in the juice.
Electrolyte drinks are also good to have on hand for hangovers. Just saying.
We also have these hydration supplements around. They keep for a long time and they are a powder that you just mix with water. My son prefers the Lemon Lime flavor over the Acai flavor.
Also, with our allergies, we usually have extra boxes of tissue at home. But a bad cold requires tissues with lotion. I hate it any other time but when you're sick your nose deserves better!
Sick Day Printables to Keep Mom Organized
Instead of just grabbing a scrap piece of paper, I pull out my printable tracker to keep everything organized.
The Meds and Times sheet keeps track of doses and when you gave your kid their medicine.
The Supplies and Notes sheet lets you keep track of things you need to get or replace from your sick day kit. You probably need more tissue. Trust me. Get extra tissue. With lotion.
The Sick and Yucky sheet lets you keep track of symptoms, their temperature throughout the day and information about any upcoming doctor visits.
You can easily bring this sheet with you for your appointment and share exactly what your child's sickness has been like since the symptoms first started.
Download your fever tracker printable so you are ready for your next sick day! And while I wanted to share this so you can easily make the sick day a little less stressful for you and your kid, it also works for husband sickness too.
If your husband is anything like mine, they need a little extra attention when they are under the weather. This will make them think you care without having to actually exert a ton of energy. But let's just keep that between us…
Download the Printable Sheets
Print out your Sick Day Printable Sheets Pack now!
More Wellness Posts
- Do you have a wellness kit ? Check out what I have around to try to keep us from having to use the sick kit.
- Here are 5 Quick Tips to Make Your Day a Little Healthier. They're so easy!
- Have you heard of Adaptogens? Here's your guide to getting started with wellness supplements.
- OK Dani has 4 Tips for How to Refresh Your Wellness Routine
- Here's a list of Wellness Bloggers to check down for more inspiration!
Prepare Yourself for Sick Day!
Pin These Sick Day Essentials for Later
Put together your Cold and Flu Kit now so that when your first sick day rolls around you'll be prepared! Sick days should be about snuggles and extra time together, not trips to the drug store! And use these easy printables to keep everything organized!