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Friday, November 30, 2012

Let's Prepare for...Getting Sick

Original Article

Hopefully you won't get sick this cold and flu season, but you should be prepared for that eventuality nonetheless.  Here's some things you can do to prepare for that possibility:

  • Get a flu shot.
  • Add some extra money to your emergency fund (especially if you don't get paid sick leave).
  • Put together a "sick kit".  Include a thermometer, cough drops, Thera Flu, Tylenol, Sudafed, a box of Kleenex, Zinc lozenges, a bottle of Vitamin C, acidophilous tablets, Carmex, Vicks Vapo-rub, and some echinacea, 
  • Put together a small stock of food that you would want to eat and drink if you get sick: canned soup, Pedialite, Gatoraid, teabags, etc.
  • Have a small stock of these germ-buster products: nitrile gloves, face masks, Clorox wipes.
  • If you have children add children's pain reliever/fever reducer to your sick kit.  Also keep on hand coloring books and crayons as well as other activities that children can do while they are recuperating.
  • Know that the best way to treat your average cold or flu is to rest quietly and sleep as much as possible.  Don't forget to stay hydrated which is also very curative.
  • If you get sick and have a chronic illness which requires daily medication, be sure to ask your doctor what to do in the event that you either vomit up your medication or forget to take it.  Ditto if you are taking birth control pills.
  • Don't automatically reach for an antibiotic if you become ill.  Many of these seasonal illnesses are caused by viruses not bacteria so an antibiotic won't help (unless you have strep throat which is a bacterial infection).  Overusing antibiotics encourages antibiotic-resistant infections and illnesses. 
  • For a severe case of the flu which causes a very high fever, dehydration, severe dizziness, shortness of breath, or other life-threatening symptoms, don't hesitate to call 911 or go to the emergency room.
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