The last thing any parent wants at the start of January (easily the most depressing month of the year) is a debilitating winter cold. Take it from me. As the father of a tiny snot monster, who sports a constant blocked nose, every day is a challenge.
Not only am I forced daily to remove bogies from his tiny nose with a weird sucky contraption that any ‘non-parent’ would mistake for a miniature beer bong. But every day is also a constant battle to ensure I don’t contract said baby’s cold myself, thus rendering myself unable to function as the all-singing, all-dancing, working dad that I aspire to be. After all, colds are known to be the main precursor to one of the deadliest illnesses around; the dreaded man flu.
Given this, it is my mission in 2017 to ensure I do not fall victim to the common cold this year. It’s not going to be easy, but the alternative is not even worth thinking about.
And so, inspired by a list I recently came across of the ultimate cold remedies for parents on a budget, I’ve put together a collection of my own favourite cold prevention measures to help you avoid catching one too (and inadvertently passing me your lurgy if we ever happen to share a tube carriage).
My ultimate cold remedies and preventative measures
Tip 1 – Drink bucket loads of water
OK, not necessarily buckets, but we should all be drinking at least two litres of water every day. By staying suitably hydrated, your body not only gets the liquid it needs to function efficiently, but it also effectively flushes out more of the bad stuff in the process. Just be prepared to spend more of your day rushing back and forth from the bathroom. Especially if (like me) you have been neglecting your pelvic floor exercises…apparently men should be doing these too, FYI.
Tip 2 – Redoxon All Day Defence
My mother in law introduced me to these daily effervescent orange tablets (think Berocca, but max strength), which I now take every morning with a pint of water. What sets Redoxon apart from other similar products in the shops is it contains 11 vitamins and minerals including a daily dose of Vitamin C and Zinc, which help support your immune system. Highly recommended and one of my absolute top cold remedies.
Tip 3 – Echinacea
“Echi-what?” Stay with me. While I don’t regularly partake in hippyish herbal remedies (at least, not since my uni days), echinacea has been proven to have a strengthening effect on your immune system, while boosting your body’s natural defences against germs. To be taken either in tea form (by brewing the Echinacea leaves) or as a herby tablet, this wonder remedy will boost your chances of beating any nasty cold.
Tip 4 – Vicks First Defence Nasal Spray
If you’re anything like me, you know when a cold is about to hit, as a dry, scratchy feeling develops at the back of your throat. As soon as I feel this sensation come on, I instantly reach for my Vicks First Defence nasal spray and pump a few squirts up each nostril. It burns like hell, but if you are religious about it (carrying your spray around with you like a kid with his favourite teddy), nine times out of ten you’ll stop that cold before it takes hold.
But, if all else fails…
Tip 5 – Lemsip Max Strength
My hot drink of choice when I’m ill, I find that Lemsip can also work wonders when taken as soon as I feel a cold coming on. Containing little hits of Paracetamol, de-congestant and caffeine to get you through the day, this tasty drink will help you halt a cold in its tracks. So don’t delay…if you feel a tingle, whack the kettle on and Lemsip yourself up to the max!
On that note, all that remains to be said is good luck! Fight the good fight, wrap up warm and if you run into me while harbouring a cold of your own, please (oh please) keep a respectable distance.
For more fantastic cold remedies, and details of where you can buy them, check out this article I mentioned earlier, which also contains voucher codes to save on your cold remedy stockpile!
So, do you have any top tips or insider secrets on how you beat a cold? What’s are your favourite cold remedies? As always, we’d love to hear from you so please do share your thoughts and recommendations in the comments section below!