My tips and tricks for surviving cold season with children – #VicksTricks


We’ve not had the best start to the year, health-wise.

I’ve had bug after virus after cough after cold since new year’s eve.

And Rhys and Nerys have been up and down with various colds and tummy aches and fevers.

So we’ve picked up some tricks over the last few weeks to keep us all as happy as we can be while we’re trying to fight off these bugs.  Here goes:


Ease the congestion.

To help ease the congestion that comes with a cold I’ve been using VapoRub.  Both on the children and on myself.  I’ve been rubbing it on our chests before bed to help unblock our noses.  And when my nose has been really blocked up I’ve added a little blob of VapoRub to a bowl of hot water and used the steam to help.

If you have a really little one who’s all stuffy-nosed, then you can pop them into a bouncer and bring them into the bathroom when you have a shower.  The warm, moist air will help them breathe a bit more easily.


Take it easy.

Rest is one of the most important factors in getting over a cold.

And while it’s easier said than done to rest when you have children, I’ve been trying to get to bed earlier than normal to get some extra sleep in.  And I’ve been encouraging Rhys and Nerys to cwtch up on the sofa when they’ve been poorly.

We read books together, and settle in with some Doc Mcstuffins on the tv.  Vicks’ research found that 75% of British parents put the tv or a film on when their children are unwell, and just over a quarter of parents read to their children, so it seems I’m in good company doing the things I do!

vickstricks read books cold


Ease a cough.

To help with a cough you can try the popular trick of putting some VapoRub on the soles of your child’s feet, and then covering them up with warm socks at bedtime.

And a warm honey and lemon drink (if they’re over a year old) can be really soothing.  It can also help with staying hydrated, which is really important when you’re under the weather.

My children are generally good at upping their fluid intake when they’re unwell, and we help this by always making sure they have water or squash nearby to drink as often as they can.

vickstricks honey lemon


Take their minds off it.

We all know that distraction is a classic weapon in a parent’s arsenal, and it can really come in handy when children are feeling unwell.  Taking their minds off feeling poorly can work wonders.  Gentle activitites like jigsaw puzzles and simple crafts are great options to keep them occupied.

Or you could play entertainer for the day and put on a puppet show or do some magic tricks for your children.

Vicks have put together a couple of videos that you can watch to learn some quick and fun magic tricks to impress your family.  I think this sliced banana one is my favourite.  It brings back memories of being ill when I was little.  My Mum would always make me banana sandwiches to make me feel better.  I’ve not had one for years, but can still remember exactly what they tasted like!


Clean up your act.

Since we’ve had so many bugs around, I’ve been really aware of trying to stop germs spreading too much around our house.  So there’s been lots of washing of towels and bedding, and wiping down of door handles in recents days and weeks.

And I’ve been encouraging the children to wash their hands well throughout the day.  I actually read something quite interesting the other day, about teaching children healthy habits like washing their hands.  The research found that children learn better if we explain to them why they need to do things.

vickstricks wash hands

It seems that if we just ask them to wash their hands more they most likely will forget or just not do it.  But if we explain to them about how germs make people ill, and that washing our hands can help stop germs spreading around, then they’ll be more likely to do it.

Nerys is still a bit too young to understand this, but the research found that children aged 4 and over were able to learn about how germs spread, and then take action to help stop it.


Stop it in its tracks.

When you’re looking after poorly children, the last thing you want is to fall ill yourself.

So I’m keeping this little bottle of first defence spray in my medicine cabinet.  At the very first sign of a sniffle I’ll be using it to ward off the cold.

I’ve still not managed to shake the virus that hit me at the start of the year, and the last thing I want is to get a cold on top of it.  Or worse, just after I finally start to feel well again!

vicks first defence

So I’m stocking my medicine cabinet with cold products.

And I’m making sure I drink plenty of water and trying to improve my diet to get as much goodness as I can into my body.

Do you have any magic tricks to help with cough and cold season?  I’d love to hear them!


This post is an entry for the #VicksTricks campaign



1 Comment

  1. Kate Holmes 14/02/2017 / 8:26 pm

    Really good point about looking after yourself too. Commenting for myself and on behalf of BritMums and thanking you for taking part.

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