As we continue to deal with the effects of COVID-19, preparing for this year’s cold and flu season is especially important.
One way to get ready is to review the items in your medicine cabinet and pantry and see what’s missing or expired.
By replenishing your supplies early, you won’t have to worry about scrambling to buy anything if you or someone in your household gets sick. Here’s what the experts recommend keeping on hand.
To Diagnose a Problem
- Digital thermometer: The least expensive way to check for a fever.
- Pulse oximeter: Helps signal when blood oxygen levels or heart rate warrant a doctor visit.
To Relieve Symptoms
- Throat lozenges: Soothes coughs and sore throats.
- Decongestant: Improves a stuffy nose.
- Honey or cough-suppressing medication: Eases breathing and helps prevent muscle strains.
- Fever and pain reliever: Think acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen.
- Guaifenesin: Thins mucus to alleviate chest congestion.
- Anti-diarrheal medicine: Can help prevent dehydration.
Note: Check for drug interactions before taking anything. If your symptoms are severe or last more than a few days, consult your doctor.
To Prioritize Prevention
- Face masks: Protect against respiratory viruses.
- Soap (and water): Scrub for 20 seconds to kill germs.
- Hand sanitizer: Should have at least 60% alcohol.
- Disinfectant cleaner or disinfecting bleach: Wet liberally and let dwell on surfaces for several minutes.
To Help With Recovery
- Electrolyte drinks: Prevent dehydration and restore energy.
- Soups and broths, oatmeal and applesauce: Keep nonperishables that are easy on the stomach, nutritious and palatable when you’re sick.
Even when we do our best to stay healthy, we can still get sick, so it’s smart to be prepared. And, as you know, health insurance can help make prevention and treatment more affordable, especially if you have to be hospitalized.
With open enrollment around the corner, get in touch if you’d like help finding the right policy.