10 Top Tips to Fend off Colds & Flu this Winter

I don’t know about you but this time of year the children are walking germ pools. As soon as they have got over one cold they pick up another. I guess thats the beauty of childcare, lots of socialisation and lots of sharing! I can live with the streaming noses, the temperatures and the grotty behaviour. What I struggle with is the sleepless nights. Not only do the kids not sleep but we don’t either because they can’t settle. We are no different to any other parent, functioning without sleep regardless of your day job is hard. So what if there was a way to perhaps reduce the chances of this happening?

To try and limit the boys exposure as much as possible to those nasty germs floating around I have been trying out leading GP & Olbas expert Dr Henderson’s 10 Top Tips to Fend off Colds & Flu:

  • Eat healthily – A variety of at least five fruit and vegetable portions a day are great for boosting your immune system. A portion of fruit includes one medium-sized whole fruit or three smaller fruits, for example satsumas or dried apricots. Keep bugs at bay by eating plenty of garlic and onion. Known for their antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties they can help fight infections.
  • Drink lots of water – especially if you spend a lot of time in central heated spaces or have a cold or the flu. Not only will it keep your body hydrated, but it will also help to flush out toxins. Always drink at least 1.2 litres of water per day.
  • Use an over the counter decongestant remedy – Natural formulas such as Olbas For Children offer a gentle decongestant formulation to relieve congestion in even the smallest noses of the family
  • Get enough sleep – It’s the body’s natural way of recharging its batteries. So, if you start to feel under the weather, help your body to recover by getting more sleep.
  • Drink tea – Green tea is one of the richest sources of antioxidants, so it’s great for helping you to beat winter bugs and improving your immune system.
  • Breathe in steam – Take a warm shower or inhale from a bowl of steamy water as a way of introducing warm, moist air into the nose and lungs to help loosen any mucus. Add a few drops of an inhalant decongestant such as Olbas Oil and breathe in the vapours to relieve blocked noses.
  • Relax more – When your body is under stress you are more susceptible to the viral infections that cause colds and flu, so keep calm and stay healthy.
  • Don’t touch your face – The cold virus is often carried on the hands and then enters your body through your eyes, nose or mouth. So, minimise the risk of catching a cold by washing your hands regularly. To get rid of germs, rub your hands together vigorously with lots of soap and warm water for at least 15 seconds.
  • Get moving – Exercise especially in the fresh air helps increase immune functions. White blood cells that kill and fight bacteria and germs need enough oxygen to work and function properly. Fresh air helps the airways of your lungs to dilate more fully and improves the lungs cleansing action.
  • Use disposable tissues – Blowing your nose or sneezing into a tissue will help contain the germs. Quickly disposing the tissue then washing your hands reduces the risk of spreading infection.

Obviously some of these are easer to implement than others with small children. For example getting outside is easy, they would both spend all day everyday outside given the chance.  But trying to get them not to touch their faces is not! She says noticing yet another trial of snot on her shoulder… However one thing that has always worked for us is using a natural decongestant. We have been using Olbas since before we had the boys for ourselves.

Now we also use Olbas for children. It really does help them to settle easier when they have a cold. In our experience it is also more likely that they will sleep through their cold.  The reason being is that Olbas for children contains a mixture of essential plant oils which works to give off natural vapours to immediately clear nasal congestion and relieve painful sinuses. Its a gentle formula which can be used with children from three months old to two years.

Although we have only ever really used it at night time it is just as effective during the day. All you need to do is place four drops on a tissue and place it just out of reach of the child. For example Kipper has some high shelves in his room which he can’t get at.  This is where we put it at bedtime. I really wouldn’t be without it as it helps both boys when they have colds. Priced at £3.19 for a 10ml bottle and £3.99 for a 15ml bottle is great value too and can be brought at most high street chemist and supermarkets.

Like all medicine, please keep out of the sight and reach of your little ones at all times. *Always read the label.


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  1. Jane Willis

    As well as inhaling Olbas oil, I find that using Olbas bubble bath (I get it from Home Bargains) as a shower gel is very effective – the shower cubicle gets much more steamy than the air over a bath so I get to inhale all the fumes and it really helps.

  2. Jules

    This is a very helpful blog, thank you. I always forget about Olbas oil; I must remember to add it to my shopping list. Thank you again ☺

  3. Kayleigh Watkins

    Great tips and advice, there are five of us at home, when one of us is ill we all end up with it, and between school and work they always bring things home, I always use olbas for children especially at night when they are worse xxx


    I swear by a few drops of olbas oil on the kids pillow to help them breathe through the night and hopefully get a good nights sleep

  5. Anthony Harrington

    great tips, we always make sure we have a sock of olbas, thermometers, calpol as colds quickly turn into a chest infection in our little chap.

  6. A S,Edinburgh

    Very useful, thank you! I always struggle to drink as much water as I need, but the body seems to need a lot more of it when fighting infection, so it must be one of the best things to do.

  7. June Lord

    That’s really useful advice, thank you. My husband is on immunosuppressant medication, so it’s really important that we keep the kids as healthy as possible so he’s exposed to as little as possible.

  8. Menzyb

    Great advise really appreciate it; cold and flu are vastly changing each year but I think getting more healthy food will be paramount this winter

  9. Lyndsey Cooksey

    Lots of great tips! I always drink green tea, I usually have about 3 a day but drink plenty of water in between. Also the plenty of sleep tip. I agree, it makes you feel better in the morning and also I notice my skin being better over days of a decent amount of sleep

  10. Jo

    Olbas is a must have in our house, my youngest has a cold at the moment so only a matter of time before the rest of us catch it! I find putting a small wet towel with olbas on it onto the radiator in they’re bedroom before bed helps. It give they’re room a moist and olbasy atmosphere which helps with breathing. The radiator goes off or low then for the rest of the night because dry air makes colds worse

  11. gaynor spanswick

    Olbas is amazing, I also buy the bubble bath , with 5 children one of them usually manage to pick something up . I Never thought to put it on a wet cloth and put on the radiator ,will try this ,some great tips here thanks for sharing .

  12. Kev Cannon

    I’ve been really careful this year but still managed to catch the flu and then 3 weeks later a cold and sore throat. It doesn’t help that people come to work with the sniffles and pass it around. In addition my flu jab voucher arrived whilst i actually had the flu. Despite all of this the items in your blog are all really good advice – guess I’ve just been unlucky this year

  13. sharon stanley

    Great tips. We recently had the flu injection and felt awful for days after. So glad we did though as if the injection made us feel so bad I can totally understand why people are getting so sick and will never belittle ‘man flu’ again if this is anything to go by.

  14. Sarah Pearce

    Would certainly recommend Olbas Oil,works on the hubby’s man flu,so must be good!!! The children’s one helped my toddler especially a drop in her bedding at night x

  15. Susan B

    A jolly good list. I disinfect daily all light switches, door handles and shared devices like the TV remote. I also use Dettol or Zoflora instead of fabric conditioner in my washing machine.

  16. Kirsteen Mackay

    I agree drinking tea is a great help when I have a cold. I’ll need to try Olbas for my children. They are constantly suffering with stuffy noses.

  17. Laura Findlay

    Great tips. We seem to pass it between us in our house at this time of year. My youngest is currently leaving snot trails all over the place yuck lol x

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