A Mummys View

Telling it like it is

Keeping Winter Bugs at Bay and Having Peace of Mind

on January 7, 2013

The winter bugs have well and truly hit our area and I don’t think there’s one person I know who hasn’t either had the winter vomiting bug or a nasty cold virus that has been doing the rounds. I think this New Year’s Eve was the quietest one on record for many!!!

I seemed to get the cold virus a couple of weeks before Christmas but my poor hubby has had both, both before and during / after Christmas, my niece, who’s birthday was Christmas Day was full of cold and coughing on her birthday and for several days after, and following this my little girl started coughing and her temperature started soaring the day after Boxing Day.

I think the only thing that has initially kept it at bay for me during Christmas was the timing of my flu jab with me being pregnant! However now… Happy New Year… I have it back again too! Just in time for going back to work! I think that’s what you call sods law! ūüôā

I have to admit when my husband got the winter D&V virus I was quick to stock up on¬†Dettol and cleaned the whole house from top to bottom, door handles, toilet handles, light switches, the lot and kept my little girl at my parents over night as I really didn’t want us all getting the virus for Christmas! Luckily it only lasted a couple of days! However the cold virus seems to be clinging on a little more and lasting longer.¬†So with my lurgy filled house of different ages and different needs I thought I would share a few top pointers of how we have tried to try to keep the cold bugs at bay or at least fight them once they arrived!

Bugs & The Pregnant Woman

glycerin medicine

Being pregnant I was / am again unable to take much to fight my cold and I have to say this probably prolonged it all for me that little longer. However I was able to take Glycerin, Honey and Lemon Linctus and Glycerin throat lozenges, as well as paracetamol but that was pretty much my lot. To keep bugs at bay you can also take things like Berocca or basic fresh orange juice and multivitamins to boost your immune system and have a nice warm bath and place bowls of boiled water with Olbas Oil in the room at the same time.

Bugs and Young Children and Babies

Children seem to generate, multiply and breed bugs and germs bless them, especially once at nursery! There’s often very little you can do to stop them, especially the common cold virus but once here there’s a few things you can try.

  • Raise the cot / mattress in the room using blocks under the cot legs or blankets under the mattress.
  • Use a humidifer in the room to regulate moisture levels and creating clean and healthy air, helping your child to breathe vicks humidifiereasier. there are two types, warm mist and cool mist. Cool mist are probably safer around children but take more maintenance and require daily cleaning. I have to say I have had a Vicks warm mist one since my little girl was young. However my daughter isn’t a curious into everything child so I have been lucky with her just leaving it alone.
  • Put a dab of Children’s Olbas Oil on a muslin or a pillow in their cot
  • Stock up on children’s cough medicines and paracetamol such as Tixylix, Nelson’s and good old Calpol. You can actually get pharmacy own brand children’s paracetamol free in many cases too.
  • You can buy vapour plug ins for bedrooms too which emit vapours to soothe, calm and help children breathe more easily.
  • I have just been told that you can rub Vicks Vapour Rub on their feet too? However I haven’t tried that one until now so we’ll see!
  • Invest in a good thermometer, there are several types from under arm / tongue, behind the ear and in the ear.
  • When my daughter was first born I had an under the arm / tongue digital thermometer.¬†These are good and do the job. However I find them a little harder to use with young children, as you have to find a way to their armpit, which is awkward when they are in their long sleeved clothes, especially sleepsuits and it can therefore be hard not to wake them when they are asleep! My daughter used to panic and pull away from me too, I think she thought it was an injection! It was therefore hard to keep her still for the 8-10 seconds often required and get an accurate reading¬†I soon moved on to an ear thermometer, which I have to say I found a lot better. The reading happens in a matter of seconds and is very accurate. You can also therefore check the temperature of a sleeping child very easily and very quickly.

I was offered recently to try both the¬†Vicks Comfort Flex¬†(an under arm / tongue / rectal thermometer) and Vicks Behind Ear thermometers and have to say the timing couldn’t have been better with the number of bugs flying around our house! I was actually just talking to my mum about her buying a new thermometer with her often looking after both my daughter and niece. With us all having been hit by various bugs it has given us both plenty of opportunity to try them out!

vicks comfort flex thermometerMy view still remains the same regarding the armpit / under the tongue style of the Comfort Flex, I think they are better perhaps for general use in adults but not so good for children. The Comfort Flex gave a reading in approximately 8 seconds. However you do have to negotiate your clothing to find the armpit, which like I have said is harder in young children and it did seem to give a slightly lower reading each time when compared to the Behind the Ear and my existing ear thermometer (both of which seemed to give higher readings that were fairly identical to one another).

The Behind the Ear thermometer was of particular interest to me as it seems the least intrusive of all of them,vicks behind ear thermometer you simply place the sensor behind the ear at a certain point and the temperature is read in a second,¬†and therefore sounds quick and ideal, especially for children, and I think it’s fairly safe to say that that is the case.

Apparently¬†“the skin area behind the earlobe is over the posterior auricular artery which is a branch of the carotid artery. The carotid artery carries blood to the brain and is therefore the best external place to measure temperature.”

It can perhaps take a little practice at first to ensure you are placing the sensor in the right spot behind the ear (however there is a digital POS message that flashes up to indicate if an error has¬†occurred¬†such as the thermometer moving during the process or being placed in the wrong spot.) I don’t think it is the easiest to use on yourself, purely due to making sure you place it in the right spot, I got the POS message a few times when trying it on myself, but this may come with practice and it is certainly simple and effective to use on your family, especially children. The screen also uses a simple green, yellow and red colour system to show when a temperature reading is normal, slightly elevated or high too, which is handy and the memory stores the last several readings taken.

For me it is Ear and Behind the Ear thermometers all the way at present, I think they provide, quick, easy and accurate readings for all the family. What do you use and what do you think?

I hope you have managed to keep the bugs at bay or at least stave them off best as possible this winter and if you have any tips and ideas to share on this subject please do drop me a comment!

Disclaimer: This is NOT a paid for / sponsored post. I was sent two products to try but the views and opinions in this post are entirely my own.

2 responses to “Keeping Winter Bugs at Bay and Having Peace of Mind

  1. […] done with a lot of the bits from it so may have to invest again! I did recently write a post about Keeping Winter Bugs at Bay where I noted some helpful tips as well as products I have used (including various thermometers and […]

  2. […] I breastfed but did give an evening bottle at two and a half months and moved onto formula from four and a half months. I initially used Aptamil, however I found this costly overall and changed to Cow & Gate, a well known family name and never had any problems. Gripe Water is great for treating babies with wind and I have always used Woodwards. I did try using Infacol but always forgot to give her it before a feed! I used Nelson’s Teething Powders¬†(I have forgotten to add an image¬†above but can highly recommend!)¬†and Anbesol¬†for teething but also¬†heard about Baltic Amber Teething Anklets from another mum so did invest and have to say we didn’t appear to have many teething problems, this could have been luck, this could have been down to using the anklet, I really don’t know but I would recommend! Baby Nurofen and Calpol are must have’s for any family medicine cabinet too and if you want any more tips on how to keep bugs at bay then check out my post Keeping Winter Bugs at bay and Having Peace of Mind. […]

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