Safety Tips during Cold and Flu Season

Cold and flu season is a fact of life. There is little we can do to totally avoid someone in your family getting sick in some way. It’s especially easy with school-aged children. When the cold or flu comes knocking at my door, I feel ready with what’s in our medicine cabinet. Only recently did I realized how important it is to compare labels of the different medicines we may use to treat our cold and flu symptoms in our family.

Sick child with medics and pills behind him

This post is sponsored by The Motherhood. All opinions are 100% my own. 

Safety Tips during Cold and Flu Season

Last year was the worst, and unfortunately deadliest, flu season in 40 years. The Acetaminophen Awareness Coalition (AAC) is urging Americans to double check their medicine labels when treating cold and flu symptoms to avoid doubling up on acetaminophen.

I had no idea that I might be doubling up on acetaminophen. My husband and I get so caught up in helping our kids feel better that we have not always double checked how medicine labels compare to one another. I spoke with our pediatrician at my son’s most recent check-up. He let me know that Acetaminophen is safe when used as directed, but taking more than directed can lead to liver damage. This can happen when using more than one product containing acetaminophen.

medicine pills

Now I follow these safety Tips during Cold and Flu Season

If you or your family members get sick this season, follow these four steps to make sure you’re using medicines with acetaminophen safely:

  1. Always read and follow the label. 
  2. Know if your medicines contain acetaminophen.
  3. Take only one medicine at a time that contains acetaminophen. Double check, don’t double up!
  4. Ask your healthcare provider or a pharmacist if you have questions about dosing instructions or medicines that contain acetaminophen.

As a mom of teens, I also learned that young adults are at high risk of taking too much acetaminophen. It’s important to teach your teen to check their medicine labels before taking cold or pain medicines, since taking too much acetaminophen could damage their liver. 

If you have little kids, It is important to always read and follow the label when giving medicine to your child, and only use a medicine that treats your child’s specific symptoms. When possible, dose by your child’s weight using the directions on the label or instructions from your healthcare provider. And always use the dosing device (oral syringe or dosing cup) that comes with the product.

Acetaminophen is Used by 50 Million

Of those who exceed the maximum daily dose, most do so by taking the next dose too soon, using multiple products containing acetaminophen, or taking too much at one time. My kids often ask me when they can take their next dose. I make sure that they don’t take anything sooner than necessary. Talking with our pediatrician about this topic really helped too. I hope you will share these safety tips during cold and flu season with your friends and family.

Always Double check your medicine labels so you don’t accidentally double up on acetaminophen. 

safety tips pin

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Jenn

Jenn Mitchell is a proud mom, wife and adventure seeker. She’s traveled either solo or with family to 20 countries and 36 U.S. states so far. A former personal trainer, Jenn looks for ways to keep her family fit and active both at home and on the road. Her goal is to inspire other moms and families to live happy and healthy lives.

This Post Has 19 Comments

  1. Alli Smith

    These are some great tips! It’s so important to read labels and give proper doses at the right time. I’m going to check my medicine labels more closely now.

  2. candy

    People should be reading the labels on everything before purchasing. Read the instructions from your pharmacy when you pick it up. Ask questions they are happy to help.

  3. Amber Myers

    This is good to keep in mind! I always want my kids to be safe if they are sick. I only give them meds that is safe, and the appropriate amount.

  4. Melissa Chapman

    This is so helpful for us and we had a bad cold virus go through everyone in our house recently. I will be sure to keep our kids and us medication safe this season.

  5. Alyssa

    I am always nervous when giving my kids acetaminophen! I definitely give it because it is very effective, but I always triple check the dosage and my pour. It’s scary!

  6. Jeanette

    With this cold and flu season we can use all the tips we can get! I am always try to stay aware of what I give my family but I think sometimes I don’t know everything that it is in it!

  7. Tasheena

    These tips are really helpful. Learning the importance of knowing the dose, and properly measuring medications.

  8. Melanie

    I have been keeping a hawk eye on my kids, searching for any hints of cold or flu. I have been drilling them about handwashing techniques, too!

  9. Tomi C

    Great tips! I try to use natural remedies as often as possible but when OTC are required I make sure to read the labels and use according to directions.

  10. Marysa

    It’s good to have a refresher on taking medications. I have horrible migraines and I read labels a lot especially when it comes to max amounts and mixing different pain relievers. And so important to check dosages for kids!

  11. These are definitely good tips to keep in mind for safe medication use. Flu season has been ramping up and we’ve already come down with a few colds this year.

  12. Dennis Littley

    Being aware of what a medicine contains is crucial, especially with the little ones. Thanks for sharing these tips.

  13. Pam

    Taking too much acetaminophen can happen so easily when you’re already out of it from a cold. It’s so important to check all your medications to make sure you’re not getting too much.

  14. Heather

    This is such an important thing to discuss. Medication is nothing to be messed with. We can never be too careful.

  15. Louisa

    I just got over a nasty cold and Tylenol was my friend on tough days. So glad I got the flu shot (it could have been worse).

  16. Terri Steffes

    Truth about the doubling of medicines. So dangerous. I love this post. Doctors should hand it out when they treat children.

  17. Rachel

    I am always watching what I give the kids and trying to write down the times. If more than one gets sick it can get confusing.

  18. Catalina

    I will share these safety tips during cold and flu season with my friends and family for sure. The safety of our kids it’s the most important thing!

  19. Asim Khan

    Thank you for writing this. A good read indeed! Sharing your ideas and safety tips during cold and flu season really do helps. Thanks for sharing!

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