When traveling internationally, it’s always a good idea to be as prepared as possible for illness, aches
Note: Millions of Americans – potentially someone in your family – will catch a cold or the flu in the coming months and reach for one of many over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers to ease their symptoms. But not all OTC pain relievers are right for everyone. Before you reach for an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever to manage symptoms, do you stop to consider what medicine is really the right choice for you or your loved ones?
A recent survey found that one in five people don’t consider any key safety factors when choosing an OTC pain reliever. This is a risky behavior. Many cold and flu medicines share the same ingredients with each other and with other OTC and Rx pain medicines. You need to make sure you aren’t double-dosing on the same kind of medicine.
The survey, conducted by the U.S. Pain Foundation with support from McNeil Consumer Healthcare, found that two in three (65%) Americans do not consider other OTC medicines they are taking and nearly half (45%) do not consider the prescription medicines they are currently taking when choosing an OTC pain reliever.
Medications I Travel With
- I always keep Infant or Children’s Tylenol and Adult Tylenol in my carry-on bag when traveling. After the most miserable flight of our lives going from Florida to California with a 10-month old with a severe ear infection, I make sure I’m always prepared and have the medications within reach. Prior to this experience, I would just check my bags with the medications in them. Big mistake.
- Dramamine or similar anti-motion sickness medicine
- Hylands Calm N Restful for Kids (and the adult version)
- Ear Ache Drops (we like Hylands)
- Anti-Itch Cream (for bug bites – see why we really needed this in Belize)
- Claritin or a similar allergy medicine
- Anti-Diarrheal Medicine (in case you get a bad case of Montezuma’s revenge)
Interview with Kerri Strug About Keeping The Family Healthy
- Keep your kids and yourself active – but don’t forget the importance of rest! Maintaining extracurricular activities for your kids, and ensuring that you find ways to do things for yourself outside of work and responsibilities at home, are extremely important. Not only will it help broaden your kids’ horizons and interests, it allows you to connect with yourself and stay happy and healthy. But I also never underestimate the need for a lazy day and getting a good amount of sleep – it can be an important part of staying healthy. It’s all about balance.
- Encourage behaviors that help your family stay healthy. It’s never too early to start teaching your kids good habits for staying healthy. Even basics like the importance of washing hands and covering your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing can be forgotten. I try to help my kids understand why it matters. As a mom, I also take extra steps this time of year to disinfect our shared areas and consider flu shots for myself and my family members.
- Be smart about over-the-counter (OTC) medicines when someone inevitably gets sick. With four people in one house, someone is bound to catch a cold at this time of the year. Before I choose an OTC medicine, I always read the entire label. Through my recent partnership with the U.S. Pain Foundation and McNeil Consumer Healthcare, I discovered that many cold and flu OTC medicines have the same active ingredient as OTC pain relievers. Now I know to always read and follow the label so I don’t accidentally take more than one medicine with the same kind of ingredient at a time.
Honestly, I am someone who has a very hard time with the guilt when it comes to not being with my kids! However, I realize that I need to try and feel less guilty. When moms make time for themselves, it can feel like they’re not doing everything they need to be doing for their family. But when moms are healthy and well, both in mind and body, they can be there so much more for their family. I make an active effort to be truly present when I am with my kids, so taking breaks here and there for “me time” is critical. I try to do some form of exercise several days a week since it rejuvenates me, and will help me stay happy and healthy for my family.