31 Products To Help Parents Survive This Relentless Cold And Flu Season

Been stuck in a never-ending loop of sickness since September? Join the club.
Check out all these products to help parents and their kids through sick season
Kokoso / Amazon
Check out all these products to help parents and their kids through sick season

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You’re reading Winter Well, our seasonal guide to taking care of your body, mind and spirits during the winter months.

Is it us or is *everyone* ill again? This winter seems to have hit the nation’s immune systems especially hard – with parents feeling the full force of the influx of nasty bugs the UK has to offer.

Whether it’s RSV, Covid, flu, strep A, norovirus, hand, foot and mouth, and now this weird intense cold-cough duo that’s doing the rounds – chances are you’ve probably had it. And if you haven’t, then you might want to buckle up for the next few months.

In what will absolutely not be music to any parent’s ears, the UK’s Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has said flu and Covid-19 are circulating at high levels still – and are likely to continue to increase in the coming weeks. Meanwhile high numbers of scarlet fever also continue to circulate.

So yes, lots of illness going around. And as every parent knows, it pays to be prepared. If you’ve ever been caught without Calpol in your cupboard during a time of household sickness, you’ll know the stakes are high indeed.

If you’re feeling rough right now, we’re sorry. Taking care of kids when you’re sick is seriously tough.

But here’s hoping something from this list can help you and your little ones get on the road to recovery. At least until the next batch of germs hits in a few weeks’ time...

Help your little one breathe easy with this soothing vapour rub
This gentle eucalyptus and menthol vapour rub comes with a handy stick applicator so you don't end up with gunky fingers when you apply it to their skin – a parenting win, IMO.
This bottle of Calpol should take pride of place in every parent's home
If you haven't got about 20 purple Calpol syringes clogging up your utensil drawer, are you even a parent? Calpol is a life-saver, as many mums and dads will attest. Make sure you're stocked up – it's great for reducing aches and pains, and also fever. Plus it's sugar-free and suitable from two months old.
Try this gentle alcohol-free sanitiser which is handy for the whole family
Tiny hands are always touching things they shouldn't. The 100% plant-based active ingredient in this sanitising foam kills 99.9% of germs, bacteria, yeasts and viruses. Alcohol, fragrance and colour-free, it’s perfect for sensitive skin too. Plus, it's suitable for babies from three months old – so you don't have to fork out for separate sanitisers.
Soothe dry skin with this gentle and oh-so-nourishing baby balm
This baby balm stick is one of our editor-in-chief's all-time fave products. Made with 100% natural and organic ingredients, the balm creates a protective barrier against the elements, nourishes dry skin and soothes irritation from colds, dribble or teething. It's also packaged in a handy stick applicator to make life that little bit easier.
Help your baby breathe better with these gentle saline drops
These nasal drops are suitable from birth and help to clear the nostrils naturally, helping your little one to sleep and eat a bit easier. Lots of parents swear by them! (And it saves buying a dreaded snot sucker...)
Headachey? Let this cutaneous stick work its magic
This stuff is great for those who hate swallowing pills. Simply swipe across your head and feel the gorgeous cooling effect in just two minutes. I tend to keep one in my bag so I'm never caught short.
Tackle dry coughs and sore throats with this blackcurrant cough syrup
Is there anything worse than listening to your child bark whilst they lay in their bed at night? This blackcurrant-flavoured cough medicine can be given to kids aged one and over, and is suitable for day and night use.
These pocket-size tissues are great for when you're out and about
And this massive multipack (32 packs) means you won't get caught short during sniffle season. Thank you, bulk buys.
This menthol bubble bath is great for bunged up babes.
There's nothing worse than congestion – especially for babies and toddlers who haven't yet mastered how to blow their snot into a tissue. This menthol bubble bath helps soothe little ones before bed, and plenty of parents (myself included) swear by it.
These handy melts are quick and easy for kids to take.
If your child's outgrown Calpol medicine, these fast melts are a great alternative. They dissolve in the mouth to provide on-the-go pain relief for kids aged six and over.
This decongestant oil is suitable for kids and grown-ups alike
Add a couple of drops to a tissue or bowl of hot water to help relieve congestion, without being overpowered by the scent.
This calming vapour plug-in helps ease breathing at night.
We do love a multifunctional product. This handy nightlight emits lavender and chamomile vapours into your child's room for up to eight hours to help ease congestion while they sleep. It's also super relaxing.
Keep Nurofen handy for battling pesky cold symptoms.
Like Calpol, you can't go wrong with Nurofen for kids during times of illness – this strawberry-flavoured medicine helps relieve fever, pain and symptoms of cold and flu.
If you're planning on spending a few days on the sofa, you probably need a really snuggly blanket
This lovely number ticks all the boxes: it's super soft, extra large and very warm. Perfect to fit the whole family under while you battle the bugs in quick succession.
Prevent sickness in the first place with disposable face masks
The UK's health body recently suggested people should start wearing face masks again to prevent winter illnesses – have a stash of these three-layer masks handy for any outings. They won't break the bank.
Sometimes you just need a lovely warm cup of green tea to soothe your tired bones
Again, our editor-in-chief swears by these Mao Feng green tea bags from Teapigs when she's sick – plus the bags are biodegradable so it's a win for you and the planet.
Soup is life when you're ill – so naturally you should buy a soup maker
Ok so admittedly this is quite a bougie sickbed purchase but soup hits different when you're ill so this is actually very important. You'll thank us one day. (Makes 1.6L of delicious soupy goodness.)
Wipe runny noses with these super soft tissues
This box of baby-soft tissues from Kleenex is perfect to keep around the house for catching sneezes. They're super gentle on your nose – we use them in our house every time one of us has a cold (which is pretty often these days).
Clear out your mucus with a blast of salt water from this Neti Pot
"It's gross, but great," says our editor-in-chief. For those unfamiliar with Neti Pots, you tip water and a salt nasal wash into your nose to clean out any mucus, dirt and other allergens that might be lurking up there. Satisfying, much?
These Milton wipes are great to clean surfaces when you're on-the-go
Whether you need to wipe a table or high chair at a restaurant, or a teether that dropped on the floor, these handy Milton wipes are great for keeping germs at bay. They've saved my bacon on multiple occasions.
Keep hands clean and smelling lovely with this moisturising soap
You can't beat a bit of Carex when it comes to keeping little mitts clean – this antibacterial hand wash is moisturising to boot. We're never without it.
Have these antibacterial wipes handy for keeping surfaces clean at home
These are very useful – especially if you've been struck down with a dreaded tummy bug and need to wipe toilets, sinks and other surfaces quickly and easily.
Kill any nasty germs lurking in your laundry
This stuff is not only great for keeping your white sheets and towels pristine and stain-free (yes, it even tackles those yellow newborn poos), but it also kills any bacteria lurking in your laundry. Ideal for when the vomiting bug strikes.
This Pukka tea is delicious and soothing – perfect for when (/if) you get five minutes to yourself
Whether you've got a day of caring for sick kids ahead, or you can feel a tickle in the back of your throat and just need a little boost, this stuff is basically a hug in a mug. We have it under good authority that it tastes even better if you have it while sitting in a steaming hot bath.
This moisturising cream is suitable for the whole family
Whether you're all blighted by dry noses from too much blowing or sore hands from over-washing, E45's Daily Cream will help inject some much-needed moisture back into skin – plus it's suitable for those aged one month and over.
Unblock your stuffy nose using this smart sinus inhaler
If you've ended up catching yet another cold and flu bug from your kids, it might be worth investing in one of these to help clear your airways when everyone else is tucked up in bed.
Paracetamol is the unsung hero powering every sick parent
Not particularly exciting, I must admit. But this humble pack of paracetamol from Anadin is suitable for aches, fever and flu – and contains 16 tablets. Just FYI, it's not suitable for kids under six.
Yes eating healthily is important, but sometimes you just need chocolate
This rather huge bar of Cadbury Dairy Milk is a suitable size for the entire family to share while you're fighting off the next round of germs.
Shift that pesky headache and fever with a large mug of Lemsip
You seriously can't beat a steaming hot cup of Lemsip (with a generous dollop of honey) to ward off nasty cold and flu symptoms. Just remember, it's not suitable for children under 12.
Honey is amazing for adding to hot drinks when you've got a cough or cold
You'll be supporting a small British business by buying this jar from Black Bee Honey – their honey is sustainably collected by beekeepers in wild UK spaces. An important reminder: babies under one shouldn't have honey.
An oldie but a goodie, this Vicks VapoRub still does the trick
With menthol, camphor and eucalyptus, this gel rub packs a punch when rubbed on your chest or back. It's suitable for adults and children over two years and you probably remember it from your own childhood

Winter calls for us to take greater care of ourselves and each other at this time of year, from our health and homes to our headspace and matters of the heart. Whether you’re seeking motivation or hibernation, HuffPost UK’s Winter Well series is here to help you through the short days and the longer months.

Lynn Scurfield for Huffpost