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NOW CLOSED: Share your tips for soothing colds and flu this winter with Kleenex Balsam and you could win JL vouchers!

(170 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 06-Oct-11 08:23:08

We've been asked by the team at Kleenex to help them build the ultimate resource for flu sufferers (or heavy colds) - bursting with tips to help soothe sufferers across the UK and Ireland back to health this winter!

So please share with us, on this thread, how you soothe your poorly children, comfort relatives with colds, deal with the dreaded man flu or even tips that have been passed on to you by your mum. Everyone who posts will be entered into a prize draw where one lucky winner will win £100 of John Lewis vouchers and two runners up will get £50 vouchers grin

For example, do you give your children certain food or drink which helps them feel better? Is there a classic film that you always let them watch to take their mind off their symptoms? When your DP/DH has "flu", are you sympathetic or do you find that a bit of tough love works best? Or are there any weird and wonderful things that your own mum used to do to soothe you, which you now absolutely swear by?

Please note - if you add your comments or tips on this thread - Kleenex may use your tips in other media - (for example: print (magazines/ newspapers) and online). They won't use your MN name. Tips may also be featured on the Kleenex pages on Mumsnet, coming soon.

For more information on the Kleenex Balsam range please visit:

thanks and good luck!

nogoodusernamesleft Thu 06-Oct-11 08:34:34

I always use a combination of lavender oil and Olbas oil dropped on a tissue and placed under a pillow for snotty noses and problems dropping off, plus a damp towel wrung up and placed on the bedroom radiator overnight to humidify the room - is that the sort of tip you're looking for? smile

lubeybooby Thu 06-Oct-11 08:37:53

Oh! I currently have the tail end of a cold so this is all fresh in my mind. It sucks. I've got through five boxes of kleenex balsam, just starting on the sixth (thankfully they have been on offer in Tesco) and I always dab a little vaseline on my nose too when I remember (long as I don't have to face the world) I also have lemsip max or sudafed (the one with no caffiene in it) and take extra vitamin C in a soluble form. If the cold develops into a cough as mine has, I find the only medicine that even vaguely helps is Covonia Night time... which at least allows me to get some sleep.

nickschick Thu 06-Oct-11 08:39:39

I have a very odd approach to heavy colds - initially I do the paracetamol vitamin c jobby,the rubbing chest with vicks and the family duvet for the night(family duvet is a v old blanket thing/patchwork all 3 dc love it but theres only 1 and 3 of them so its a 'poorly' blanket) lemon with sugar,soft tissues at side of bed or snotty child and smaller packet for pocket THEN to differentiate between a real cold and that notorious mysterious sympathy sucker...... manflu- I offer .....pot noodle grin if they can eat 1 its a cold if they cant they are poorly!!!.

My mum who was unethical at best used to give us paracetamol crushed up,cold lemonade and a comic to read in bed until we were better......she didnt do 'tender love'wink.

Im not very sympathetic to any other adults with colds as I have to get on with it - so should they -except dfil who has whisky with his hot lemon and then as hes not a whisky drinker when the cold has passed he gives me the remaining whisky (medicinal only wink),so grandads colds warrant attention smile.

Oh and if they are that poorly they are lay on the sofa unable to move I usually watch my lovely xmas films with them - xmas with the kranks and national lampoon - I have a fine time,it also seems to aid their recovery as soon as I mention watching them they feel a bit better.hmm.

nogoodusernamesleft Thu 06-Oct-11 08:43:55

nickschick I want to be poorly at your house! grin Xmas films, pot noodles and snuggly duvet - what's not to like?!

planetpotty Thu 06-Oct-11 08:48:01

For the children honey and lemon is a must and olbas oil on a few tissues placed around the room while they sleep.

For the DH i try and ignore the man flu for as long as possible (usually about 5 mins) before the moping and wailing wears thin and its off to the sick bed for DH. I keep on and on about drinking pleanty and he usually just croaks pathetically he cant face it, plays on his computer games, watches Dave all afternoon and appears magically for tea smile Of course there is no time allotted for mums to be ill - I dont think anyone even notices when Im ill!

Love looking after them all though so I shouldn't moan grin

choccyp1g Thu 06-Oct-11 08:53:05

I always make hot ribena with a cough sweet (such as soothers or tunes) melted into it. You can feel the fumes wafting right up into your sinuses.

nickschick Thu 06-Oct-11 08:54:59

Nogood the blankets just back from the dry cleaner - you can be first grin.

Paschaelina Thu 06-Oct-11 09:02:32

I steam it out in a bath with olbas oil dropped on a cotton hanky in easy reach to inhale, (disposable tissue for blowing though). DH prefers a shower, as long as it's steamy.

Also agree with hot ribena (grin)

welliesandpyjamas Thu 06-Oct-11 09:10:06

DH gets a pot noodle, a chocolate, and lemsip type drinks. And gets sent to bed to sleep it off.

DS1, who is 8, gets to watch comforting 'young' cartoons, like Mickey Mouse, snuggled up on the sofa, lots of juices and smoothies.

DS2, who is 2, has to tag along with normal life when he's ill, poor thing sad but gets lots of cuddles on the sofa, lots of sleep, lots of smoothies and juice.

And me? A hanky. Vitamin tablets. Fruit. Juice. Chocolate. Lazy time when no one is looking. And mainly get on with it grin

nickschick Thu 06-Oct-11 09:21:09

So glad its not just me that uses pot noodle grin.

Wurg Thu 06-Oct-11 09:26:40

DH likes to apply the torture method by wrapping up in flannel pyjamas and several layers of knitwear and going to bed under several blankets. After a night of 'sweating it out' he swears he's cured.

I'm more of the noodle soup and soppy movie persuasion.

2yo DS gets the saline-up-the-nose treatment, much to his protest. It jolly well works, though.

BikeRunSki Thu 06-Oct-11 09:31:57

For man flu, hot ribena with a tot of whiskey, paracetomol and bed. DH is rubbish at taking time off, but when he does, he sleeps. He has just gone back to work after a couple of days off with a heavy cold. I had to plead with him to take the time off - I am 37 wks pg and need him fit for a new baby!

For DS (who is3) - Toy Story on DVD, apple juice (maybe slightly warm), snuggled up under an old, heirloom blanket (Grandpa Michael's stripey blanket, all wooly and lovely), lots of cuddles, lots of sleep and maybe a wee new toy.

For me - rest when I can grab it (I try and limp on until it's a work day and DS is at nursery, then phone in to work sick), hot Ribena and soup. I have a noodle and veg soup that I always make when I am ill. DH and DS don't like it though.

And whenever anyone is ill - in this house or friends - I make apple crumble. My mum always did, it is my default comfort food.

inmysparetime Thu 06-Oct-11 09:34:56

I grate ginger into the hot lemon and honey, as a snotty cold usually makes their tummies feel odd.
Spicy food usually gets everything either streaming out or kills it off.
DH swears by tinned peaches, or if he's really feeling pathetic, an oxo cube crumbled into a mug of hot water.

inmysparetime Thu 06-Oct-11 09:35:44

Just read the streaming bit, I meant streaming nose, eyes, not anywhere elsegrin

charliechinuk Thu 06-Oct-11 10:02:47

I buy room vapour (4little1) and also chest rub but put it on my 20 month old clothes. I make sure that my daughter eats what she likes. She has soya milk enriched with vitamins to make up for anything she does not gain when eating food. She also can watch a bit more television and she gets lots of hugs.

ShatnersBassoon Thu 06-Oct-11 10:04:09

Saline drops are amazing when you've got that sort of blocked nose that completely seals itself with mucus when you lie down. One drop in each nostril is heaven itself.

worldgonecrazy Thu 06-Oct-11 10:10:59

I steam the face for a good 5 minutes at the first sign of a cold, that usually fights it off.

If I don't get there in time, a huge plate of pasta with plenty of garlic, a duvet and afternoon TV.

TeaandHobnobs Thu 06-Oct-11 10:11:16

My mum was given this remedy as a child, and I have now use it too - sounds very weird but it seems to work!

You chop up half an onion and put it in a bowl, then you sprinkle sugar over it.
Leave for a couple of hours, and a syrup forms, which you drink.
I think it is supposed to have antibacterial properties?

LCRLCR Thu 06-Oct-11 10:41:32

Cashmere socks, fleece pajamas, snuggly dressing gown with endless cups of tea and stacks of Kleenex. Lie pitifully on sofa under duvet and channel surf all day

Kveta Thu 06-Oct-11 10:43:20

in our house, we just moan about colds, but otherwise get on with it. I found the vicks first response spray is good if used as soon as a cold looks imminent - otherwise it's a waste of time. I did read somewhere that vics vaporub on the soles of the feet is meant to work wonders, but haven't tried it, as i always remember after having a cold grin

DH has a hot toddy if he's feeling poorly - juice of 1/2 a lemon, couple of tsps of honey, tot of whisky, all topped up with boiling water. DS and I have hot ribena.

I use snufflebabe on DS if he's bunged up, and raise his mattress with a pillow under it at his pillow end, as he tends to fling his own pillow off the bed.

the other solution my dad's friend swears by is to cut up half an onion, and leave it on a plate by your bed as you sleep. it does seem to work wonders, but as he was using my room when he stayed with our family, i can tell you the smell lingers for quite some time afterwards!

Seaholly Thu 06-Oct-11 10:50:40

For the kiddies, A warm honey and lemon drink, paracetamal and some vicks rub on their pj's, some warm water in a bowl with a few drops of Eucalyptus oil in their room

For the grown ups A hot honey and lemon, paracetamal, vicks rub and a hot water bottle.

Foodwise, Usually like to eat a tin of chicken soup with torn up bread in! A warm lemonade is also recommended in our family although my other halfs family favour warm ribena!

Shakey1500 Thu 06-Oct-11 10:58:05

For me at the first sign of a cold I take two paracetomal, wrap up warm in old flanalette pyjamas grin. I also (very important) tell myself that this will NOT develop into a full blown cold nor flu, it is but a fleeting sniffle. Glass of brandy and lemonade before bed. Comfort food is sausage, mash and peas absolutely smothered in gravy.

For my ds, good old calpol, Snow White on the dvd, constant stream of fluids and whatever he wants to eat and THE most important thing is plenty of cuddles smile

chrisrobin Thu 06-Oct-11 11:01:26

I give relatives with a cold after dinner mints, the mint helps clear the nose while the chocolate soothes the throat and gives you an energy boost.

DurhamDurham Thu 06-Oct-11 11:05:52

When 'colds' strike in out house we soldier on as along as possible. Then we take to the sofa, drink gallons of tea and eat digestive biscuits. Dose up on paracetamol and watch rubbish romcom films. We then generally look for sympathy from the non-affected members of the family, when it isn't forthcoming we drift off to sleep because everyone knows that's the best medicine!

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