Kick Those Winter Sniffles Faster

sick child

It’s still that time of the year! You know, the time where you pick your littles up from daycare or school and the only thing you hear is the sound of snot being sucked back up into their tiny noses. We have all been there and will likely all be there again and again, so let’s make the most of it and kick the sniffles faster!

We all hate when our littles are sick. We have mom guilt about how icky they feel, how we could have prevented them from getting sick, and how we can help them feel better. Let’s clarify: there is likely nothing you could have done to prevent this cold, flu, earache, or tummy pain, and that’s ok. You make the choices you do with the information you have, so don’t beat yourself up over what you didn’t know.

Prevention is key. It’s all about “beefing up” the immune system and keeping those germ-filled hands out of your mouth, eyes, ears, and nose (in other words, “entry points”). Rest assured that after reading these tips for prevention, you will have more mama power to help your little kick the sniffles faster.

Prevention Tip #1:

Wash your hands more often than you think you should, for longer than you want.

We all remember our moms telling us to wash our hands before we eat, after we use the bathroom, and when coming in from outside. You probably hear yourself saying this to your littles day in and day out. Washing more often and during dirtier activities will help prevent being bombarded with germs, which our immune system doesn’t like.

Wash them before you prepare food, before you touch your face, and in-between activities where you or your littles were playing with something many others were touching. Wash them after you sneeze, cough, or touch one of those easy entry points. This will help stop the spread of your germs to other people.

What about the length of washing? Washing and scrubbing your hands for twenty seconds is how long it takes to really get rid of all the bacteria that you are trying to wash off. Don’t forget your nails and in between your fingers, they are easily forgotten and a great hiding place.

Prevention Tip #2:

Don’t hang around sick people when you know they are sick.

Don’t feel bad declining a play date or an outing at the mall when you know your kids’ friends are already sick or you are feeling a little under the weather. If you are already fighting something, stay home and get better so you can give your immune system a break. It’s about time with germs and how many you are exposed to, so by decreasing both, you can give your immune system much needed R & R.


So you didn’t listen to my prevention tips, or you did and you just happened to get the ick that everyone else seems to have. Follow these tips to help you and your littles get better faster!

Better Faster Tip #1:

Don’t eat if you don’t feel like eating, and this goes for your kids, too!

This may sound crazy to you but let’s break it down. Your body is trying to fight off an illness by putting all of its resources to building its army. Why bog it down with a heavy meal of a burger and fries that will just take away from its ability to build your own immune army? If you are feeling hungry, soups, veggies, and light meals should be your go-to. They will help you get nutrients and energy to help with building and fighting a bug, but won’t take too much energy away from your body’s building endeavors.

Better Faster Tip #2:

Don’t eat, drink, or suck on sugar!

Our go-to is ice cream, popsicles, and sugary drinks because they make our throats feel better and can have electrolytes, but think again! The sugar in food acts as fuel for the bacteria and viruses that our bodies are trying so hard to fight. A better idea would be frozen fruit pops with no added sugar, ice chips, green smoothies, and other nutrient-dense foods to help our bodies heal. 

Better Faster Tip #3

Cold socks on your feet.

Yes, I know this sounds completely backward, but my madness has a method! This process is often called “warming” or “magic socks”. What they help our bodies do is circulate the immune system, boost the body temperature, and bring nutrients to where they are needed.

You will need the following:

  • Two pairs of socks- one should be thick or wool and the other thin and cotton.
  • Ice water or access to a freezer.

Start by taking a hot bath or shower. The purpose of this is to get warm so you don’t get chilled from the cold socks. Dry off completely (this is very important!). Wet the thin cotton socks with ice water and wring them out. No water should be dripping from them. You can place them in the freezer or fridge for a few minutes to get them really cold. Put the cold wet socks on you or your littles’ feet. Cover them with the dry thick/wool socks. Make sure you are in warm PJ’s or something that will keep you warm in bed.

Get in bed, quick! Keep the socks on overnight or until they are dry and warm.

I often feel better in the morning and sleep much more soundly the nights that I use warming socks. This technique can be used for colds, flu, respiratory illnesses, and stomach bugs. Just about any type of sickness that you want to get rid of faster.

So, the next time you or someone in your family gets sick, pull out all your mom stops and remember these tips. Your littles and their noses will thank you later!

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Dr. Tonya Loken is a Fargo native that loves to learn new things, travel, and be a mom to her son Harrison. Dr. Tonya has spent multiple years living in other cities during her undergraduate, master and doctoral degree programs, but has always considered Fargo home. In her spare time, she loves to read, cook, watch UND hockey games, go boating, camping, and just spend the day doing whatever she and her son can get themselves into. She and her husband enjoy date nights at NDSU football games or trying new restaurants in the area. Dr. Tonya is hoping to be your go-to guide for all things natural, so you can raise a healthy, happy family!



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