The exercise is all too familiar. We wake up and yesterday’s hint of scratchiness has turned into a full-blown, searing sore throat. Or we tiptoe into our child’s room to wake her and she is sniffling and feverish.
Suddenly, we start mentally reorganizing the day: phone calls to work, to the school attendance line, to daycare, the meetings that need to be cancelled and rescheduled. And, somehow, we have to get to the grocery store for food, cough drops or saltines.
If we are the sick ones, we face a tender, sleepy drive in rumpled sweatpants. At the market, we duck behind the end caps to avoid being seen by friends and neighbors. Foggy-headed with illness, we slog down the aisles and strain to think of exactly what it is we need.
On the other hand, if our child is ill, a child too young to stay at home alone, we face bundling her up and toting our achy, miserable patient between the house and the carseat, through the store and back again.
Even the most religious hand washing and adherence to annual flu shots will not outsmart every virus. But we can prepare and save ourselves some of the distress that comes with sick days. Start saving up the items that will ease you through this cold and flu season.
This is a long list and will run up quite a bill if purchased all at once. I suggest adding one or two things to your shopping list each week.
- Menthol rub
- Cough syrup
- Cough drops
*For children, talk to your pediatrician about what medicines he/she prefers your child take when sick.
- Saltine crackers
- Boxes of flavored gelatin
- Ice pops for sore throats
- Herbal tea
- Canned soup or broth
- Frozen orange juice
- Ginger ale
- Rehydrating drink
Avoid overly sweetened sports drinks. Electrolyte drinks in the children’s aisle will have less sugar and dye.