Cold and Flu Season Survival Guide: Best Flu Prevention Products - Rolling Stone
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RS Recommends: These Products Will Help You Prepare For (and Survive) Cold and Flu Season

Here’s what you need in your flu prevention kit, to keep those nasty germs at bay this season

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As we continue to stay vigilant amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and the Delta variant, it can be easy to forget about all of the other colds and viruses we had to be cautious about. With fall and winter here, it’s never too early to start taking precautions and stocking up on essential item to help you through flu season. There’s nothing worse than letting your guard down only to pick up a nasty cold, and having to scramble for tissues and medicine.

You may be thinking, “I’ve got my vaccine and I’m still being careful. Of course I’m taking precautions.” However, experts have discussed the effects of spending more time indoors over the past year, and how it is actually weakened our immune systems. So while you may be already doing your due diligence in the fight against covid, remember that your body might not be as adept at fighting off germs as it was before the pandemic.

Not to worry though, because we’ve assembled a one stop guide of products that will not only help you ward off unwanted colds, but will also help you make it through the worst case scenario. Here’s what you need in your flu prevention and survival kit.

Of course, we aren’t medical professionals here so if you’re experiencing severe flu-like symptoms, you should always consult your doctor to get yourself checked out.

1. MedicPro N95 10-Pack of Masks

Amazon

 

Face masks have become synonymous with the Covid-19 pandemic, but in general it’s not a bad idea to use a face mask as a precautionary measure against seasonal sicknesses (in addition to regularly washing your hands of course). But with the emergence of the Delta variant and the increased availability of medical masks on the market, it’s not a bad idea to step up your mask game for the coming months.

These N95 masks from MedicPro are lightweight, but effective, safeguards against droplets and germs. There’s even an adjustable nose clip and welded headband to ensure a secure fit. They’re available in packs of 10, 50 or 100 depending on if you’re looking to stock up.

Buy: MedicPro N95 Masks at

2. iHealth No-Touch Forehead Thermometer

Health-No-Touch-Forehead-Thermometer

Amazon

Your body’s temperature fluctuates throughout the day for a number of reasons, but knowing if you’re running a fever or not can be a big help in determining what you’re suffering from. You absolutely want to keep a thermometer on hand just in case.

This thermometer from iHealth is a safe and hygienic option; simply hold it up to your forehead and get a reading in literally one second. No hassle or anxiety (and no need to stick in the mouth either) — just simple and clear answers to your fever related queries.

Buy: iHealth No-Touch Forehead Thermometer at $19.99

3. Eight-Pack of Kleenex Soothing Lotion Tissues 

Kleenex-Expressions-Soothing-Lotion-Facial-Tissues

Amazon

Whether you have a case of the sniffles or some serious congestion, there is no such thing as having too many tissues, especially when you’re confined to bed. But while blowing your nose can bring some much needed relief, doing so repeatedly can actually cause the skin around your nose to chap; on top of a cold, this can be extremely irritating. The answer? Lotion tissues.

We love this pack from Kleenex, not only for the sheer amount of tissues you get (a whopping 960 total tissues) but for how gentle they are on your skin. Containing three layers of of Coconut Oil, Aloe Vera and Vitamin, these have everything to not only protect your skin while you blow your nose, but nourish it as well. This is especially important for winter when the air gets dryer, and becomes more harsh for your skin. Be kind to your nose and your skin.

Buy: Kleenex Soothing Lotion Tissues at $14.49

4. Attmu Rubber Hot Water Bottle

Attmu-Rubber-Hot-Water-Bottle-with-Cover-Knitted

Amazon

Having a hot water bottle on hand can be a game changer if you’re suffering from particularly aggressive aches and pains, fever or even congestion; by placing one on your ears or chest, you can alleviate pressure and loosen the mucus.

We love this bottle from Attmu; it not only promises to hold heat longer than others on the market, but functions just as well as an ice pack should you need one. The bottle’s unique grid texture actually makes this safer and for comfortable for contact with you skin. It even comes with a nifty and cute knitted cover that is available in an array of vibrant colors to fit your personal aesthetic, so you can recover in style.

Buy: Attmu Hot Water Bottle at $11.99

5. Two-Pack of Vicks Sinex Saline Nasal Spray

Vicks-Sinex-Saline-Nasal-Spray-Daily-Use-Gentle-Ultra-Fine-Nasal-Mist

Amazon

Sometimes it’s simply not enough to blow your nose and you need to call upon some additional reinforcements, like a decongestant. These can come in the form of a spray or pill. And while your choice will ultimately come down to a matter of personal preference, sprays have been proven to provide relief much faster than their tablet counterparts; it’s a great idea to keep some on hand for when you have an aggressive case of congestion.

We recommend this saline solution from Vicks, which is a drug-free option for breaking up mucus and clearing all kinds of irritants from your nasal passages including allergens and dust. And because this is saline, you can use this as often as you need throughout the day and/or night. The solution is dispersed in an ultra-fine mist, so there’s no mess or risk of excess fluid dripping after you apply it.

Buy: Vicks Saline Nasal Spray at $16.88

6. GoodSense Maximum Strength Nasal Decongestant Tablets

GoodSense-Maximum-Strength-Nasal-Decongestant-PE

Amazon

On the off chance you prefer tablets to sprays, you can’t go wrong with this Nasal Decongestant from GoodSense, which covers everything from the Common Cold to Flu-related congestion. The relief it brings won’t come at the cost of your motor skills either, so you can still take this and make it through your day without being drowsy or falling asleep.

Buy: Goodsense Nasal Decongestant at $5.58

7. Purell Advanced Soothing Aloe Vera and Vitamin C Hand Sanitizer

Purell-Advanced-Hand-Sanitizer-Soothing-Gel-Fresh-Scent

Amazon

There is no denying the importance of regularly washing your hands, no matter what time of the year it is. If you’ve watched the film “Contagion” recently, you know that the average human touches their face roughly 2,000 to 3,000 times a day, a statistic that’s quoted by Kate Winslet’s character as we see footage of various people touching surfaces and then their faces. It’s horrifying, but true; human beings are actually quite skilled at transmitting germs.

So it’s all the more important to keep some hand sanitizer on your person in the event you can’t make it to the bathroom to use warm water and soap. That said, hand sanitizer can really dry out your hands, which can lead to the chapping, or cracking, of skin. That’s why we love this option from Purell, which has aloe vera and vitamin c and doesn’t have skin irritating parabens or phthalates, so your hands stay clean and nourished. These travel sizes are convenient and perfect to keep in your favorite bag, the glove compartment of your car or your pockets.

Buy: Purell Aloe Vera Hand Sanitizer at $17.61

8. Airborne Vitamin C 1000 MG Tablets 

You’ve probably heard that vitamin C is something people have turned to when coming down with a cold, but that’s not just an old wives’ tale! That’s not to say that it’s a cure necessarily, but there have been studies that have shows taking vitamin C can help with managing symptoms and ailments.

These citrus flavored tablets from Airborne an effective thing to keep in your medicine cabinet when your immune system needs a little extra support. Don’t believe us? Take a look at the more than 20,000 five star reviews on Amazon. Of course, you’ll want to make sure to monitor your intake; taking too much vitamin C can irritate your digestive system.

Buy: Airborne Vitamin C Tablets at $17.50

9. Six-Pack of Purell Surface Disinfectant Spray

PURELL-Professional-Surface-Disinfectant-Spray

Amazon

We’ve already covered the importance of making sure to keep your hands clean, but surfaces are just as important. Think about the last time you wiped down the table you eat your meals at, or when you last disinfected your kitchen counter. Now think about how many times you’ve touched or came into contact with each since they’d been cleaned. It’s probably been awhile.

Purell’s Surface Disinfectant Spray is an easy, and powerful, way to keep the surfaces in your personal space clean; it promises to eliminate 99.9 percent of germs, including cold, flu and strep throat. What we love about it the most though is there’s no pungent smell that sometimes accompanies a maximum strength disinfectant. In fact, it sprays a light citrus scent that dissipates quickly.

Buy: Purell Surface Disinfectant Spray at $32.88

10. LEVOIT Classic 200 Humidifier 

LEVOIT-Humidifiers-for-Bedroom

Amazon

Investing a humidifier for your bedroom can help ward off cold and flu related nasal congestion, runny nose or dry cough so you can get some rest. This option from LEVOIT is both affordable and extremely efficient. Its large tank can support up to 40 hours of runtime on the lowest setting, and because it doesn’t have a filter it makes it that much easier to clean.

Buy: LEVOIT Humidifier at $33.99

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