Ideally, you and your family should help prevent cold and flu by following the important Cold and Flu Prevention Tips. However, there may be occasions where you or someone in your family gets sick with cold or flu.
If You Have Cold Symptoms
- Drink lots of liquids (hot or cold) to keep nose and throat from drying out
- Get bed rest
- Use saline nose drops
- Consider over-the-counter cold medication (check with your healthcare provider before giving to a child or taking if you are pregnant)
If You Have the Symptoms of Flu
- Stay home from work, school, travel, shopping, social events, and public gatherings.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your sleeve.
- Clean hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub often, especially after using tissues or coughing/sneezing into your hands.
- Drink clear fluids such as water, broth, sports drinks, or electrolyte beverages made for infants to prevent becoming dehydrated.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Fever reducer/pain reliever (acetaminophen or ibuprofen)
- Continue to stay home until at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever (100° F) or signs of a fever (without the use of a fever-reducing medicine, such as Tylenol®).
The CDC advises that you do not need to stop breastfeeding if you have the flu; however, be careful not to cough or sneeze on your baby.
Contact your healthcare provider if you:
- Have difficulty breathing or chest pain
- Have purple or blue discoloration of your lips
- Are vomiting and unable to keep liquids down, or
- Have signs of dehydration, such as feeling dizzy when standing or being unable to urinate
Seasonal Flu Vaccine
Getting vaccinated is the best protection against contracting the flu.
Shopping List: Cold and Flu Care Kit
- Clear fluids
- Acetaminophen or ibuprofen for fever and aches
- Cool-mist humidifier for children
- Hand soap and hand sanitizer
- Disinfecting wipes or all-purpose disinfectants and disinfecting spray to reduce germs on household surfaces