Stuff We Like: Fighting the Flu
If you’re in the New York City area, there’s a good chance you’re either home nursing a sick kid or feeling under the weather yourself (hopefully not both at once!). At the least, you’ve probably noticed a few empty desks in your office over the past few days. According to the CDC, this year’s flu season is already shaping up to be one of the worst in the past decade. Last year, New York State reported just 4,400 cases of the flu during the entire season, but this year’s number has already reached 15,000 — and we still have three months to go.
First, some helpful info and tips to get you through the flu season minefield:
Next, a few things to keep handy while those germs are flying around:
Sending kids to school with the sniffles isn’t fun for anyone, but sometimes it must be done. With the amount of school days lost to Superstorm Sandy in the fall, we’re all thinking twice before letting our little ones take an extra sick day. If she’s over the flu but still a little stuffy, lift her spirits by sending her to class with cute pocket tissues from Sniff. We like the cheeky pack pictured, which offers an alternative view on the flu: “I must be allergic to boys.” ($2.95; 10 tissues per pack)
When one kid gets the sniffles, it doesn’t take long for it to spread throughout your household. To avoid an epidemic, encourage each member of the household to observe good hand-washing practices, and make sure there are lots of tissues around for the sicky. Skip the boring box and load Kleenex into this octopus tissue holder — it’s so cute, it might make your little guy more likely to grab a sheet when a sneeze strikes. (Also available in red and pink; $10 each)
You know what they say — the best defense is a good offense. To make sure your kids’ immune systems are in fighting shape during flu season, all the age-old advice applies: eat right, get enough sleep, take your vitamins. Now there’s an easy way to give kids the vitamins that they need without extra sugar or fillers. alternaVites are vitamins that melt on your tongue — like a pixie stick, but with 23 essential vitamins. It’s great for kids who struggle to swallow pills or forget to take their vitamins, because it can be eaten on its own or sprinkled into yogurt, puddings, or smoothies. And it has been carefully formulated with ingredients that do not contain the major food allergens. (Available in two flavors; $15.95 for a pack of 30)
The classics are classics for a reason: The Berenstain Bears have been teaching kids big lessons for more than 50 years, through more than 350 books about everything from new babies in the family to limiting TV time. In The Berenstain Bears Come Clean for School, Brother and Sister learn an important lesson about how to stop germs and colds from spreading. Recommended for ages 4-8. ($3.99; sold by major booksellers)