Note: Recently, I received a letter from a company, asserting their trademark on the phrase Flu Be Gone, which was registered long after this blog post was first published in 2013. To be clear, my use of the phrase “flu be gone”, is simply an editorial description with no commercial use. I am not associated with the company or any of their products.
I’m a little embarrassed to admit that this year’s flu completely blindsided me. I read the headlines declaring a near-epidemic in some parts of the country but noted that my state, Arizona, hadn’t been hit particularly hard. So when my son had a short bout with what I thought was a 24 hour stomach bug, I wasn’t worried.
Three days later, he was nearly catatonic with a fever and a deep, racking cough. My brain hadn’t been thinking “flu”, so my husband and I were running to the store for ginger ale, extra Kleenex, and a new thermometer.
In hindsight, I really shouldn’t have been so complacent. Although we rarely get sick, it would have been so simple to put together a Flu Be Gone Box, filled with items to help us get through the worst of any sickness. After all, if mom and dad were ever sidelined by an illness, my kids are too young to drive to the store!
My goal is to keep everything in one place, so we aren’t running around trying to locate a stray thermometer or the jar of honey that’s somewhere in the pantry. I also want the kids to know where this box is located and what each item is for.
Here’s what I’ve placed in our box so we’ll be ready next time around.
- Large, unopened box of tissues.
- Small bottle each of NyQuil and DayQuil. Your choices may be different.
- Small bottle of crystallized ginger for homemade ginger tea. You can also put a couple of crystals inside your cheek and allow to slowly dissolve. Crystallized ginger doesn’t have as strong a bite as fresh.
- Unopened bottle of ginger ale for nausea.
- A small, unopened jar of honey for coughs. (Not for use with babies, though.)
- Unopened bottle of hand sanitizer
- Peppermint and/or eucalyptus essential oils for use in a humidifier.
- Small bottle of ibuprofen.
- Anti-diarrheal medicine — Ask your doctor or pharmacist for a recommended brand.
- Emesis/vomit bags — Better to use than a bowl or toilet to prevent splashing. Ugh.
- A few pairs of disposable gloves
- 4 face masks to keep contagion to the minimum when tending to the sick person
- My favorite essential oil diffuser and a few oils that are beneficial, such as eucalyptus, Raven (a Young Living blend), frankincense, and lavender (for a good night’s sleep). I even have a diffuser for my car and just LOVE it!
I thought of adding a box of saltines, but these go horrifically bad after a couple of months due to the small amount of oil in the crackers. A sealed box of pilot bread would stay fresh, though.
A simple DIY rehydration concoction you can easily mix up in your own kitchen is another good addition. A few months ago I assembled forty of these packets and have tucked them into my pantry, vehicle emergency kit, and have even put a few in the glove compartment of my husband’s truck.
Here’s the basic recipe:
- 3 T. sugar
- 1 t. salt
That’s it. Some people add a bit of Kool-Aid to provide flavor, but it isn’t necessary. When this sugar/salt combo is mixed with a liter of clean water, you have an effective rehydration fluid that will go a long way toward helping someone recover from a bout with the stomach flu.
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