(WFSB) -- It’s that time of year where germs seem to be everywhere.
“Cold season is upon us and flu season is already started. We are already seeing cases of positive flu, which is pretty early this year,” said Dr. Charlayne McStay, of Wildwood Pediatrics.
Doctors say everything you need to make your child feel better is probably already in your home.
This week’s Wellness Wednesday report takes a look at the five things parents need in their medicine cabinet to survive cold and flu season.
“You don’t need a medicine cabinet filled with things to treat things. Most of the stuff you already have,” McStay said.
First on the list, a trusty thermometer.
“Most people think they can tell their child’s temperature just by touching their child’s forehead but most of the time you actually can’t,” McStay said.
She goes on to say that parents who have babies at home “should have a rectal thermometer because they give the most accurate temperature.”
McStay said a temperature above 100.4 is considered a fever.
Another thing to have on hand is some sort of fever reducer.
“Kids can be pretty uncomfortable when they have fevers, so I usually tell parents they should have some sort of fever reducer at home. So, acetaminophen or ibuprofen because those things can make their things feel much more comfortable when they do have a fever,” McStay said.
She said you don’t have to give it for a fever, but only if a child is really uncomfortable.
The pain relievers can also be used to treat head or ear aches.
Next, saline drops for stuffy noses.
“You can buy them over the counter, they come in both drop form and sprays for older kids. For a baby you can put one or two drops of saltwater in their nose and use one of those suctions, bulb suctions that they give you in the hospital when your baby is first born to sort of pull out some of that clogged mucus and make them feel much more comfortable,” McStay said.
Humidifiers also help sick kids breathe easier.
And lastly, honey.
“Honey is clinically proven to help coughs, particularly at nighttime. You can mix it in with some warm water or just give it to an older child off a spoon and help treat it that way. The only thing to remember is that anyone under the age of 1 should not be given honey because of a risk of a dangerous infection,” McStay said.
Something you don’t need in your medicine cabinet are cough and cold medicines.
“What a lot of people don’t realize is over the counter cough and cold medicines are actually not recommended for most children. That’s because studies really show they are not really effective for young children and on top of the fact there is a risk of dangerous side effects from these medicines,” McStay said.