The days can feel long when the whole family gets taken out by a cold, flu (or dreaded stomach bug). Parenting when you’re under the weather is the pits, so being prepared ahead of time can help keep everyone comfortable and cozy, all while keeping your sanity intact. Keeping a sick-day survival kit can help when you need it the most. Everything from medicine to activities, you’ll thank yourself. Also, being prepared is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick – it’s murphy’s law.  You need a sick day survival kit; be prepared for cold and flu season! 

It takes a few kids and late-night horror stories for most parents to learn that this kit is essential. So, do yourself a favor and prep your equipment today- before it’s too late and you’re scrambling to find Tylenol at 2 am. 

sick day preparation

Here is a list of things you’ll want to keep in your sick-day kit:  

A storage bin- plastic with a lid, so you can stash it away and not be tempted to take from it when you don’t need to. You can also use a bucket (which can double as the barf bucket)


Choose whichever brands work best for your family. Make sure to check expiration dates! 

  •  Acetaminophen  
  •  Cough lozenges and mixture
  •  Box of tissues (or 2)
  •  Masks 
  •  Gloves  
  •  Hand sanitizer 
  •  New toothbrush   

Have a stash of old and crappy towels, sheets pillowcases. They don’t need to be kept in the emergency kit but have them on hand if needed. This way, you always have enough spares and aren’t using your good stuff!  

  • Clorox wipes or a small jug of bleach. I don’t usually use bleach, but it does make an appearance when someone is sick.
  • Microban spray (I love this stuff!) 

Because when a bug hits – it can hit fast! You may not have time to get to a store before you start wanting some of these items. Remember to check expiration dates and mark them in your calendar so you can use up/ switch out before you need the box!  

  •  Gift card for pizza (for when you’re too exhausted to cook, you will thank yourself!)
  •  Cans of soup 
  •  A sleeve of saltine crackers 
  •  Ginger ale 
  •  Applesauce pouches (Because of BRAT)   

 For your Sanity:  

  •  Movies (check out the Wal-Mart cheap bins after Christmas) 
  •  Colouring books and crayons   
  • Cheap toy the kids haven’t seen before (something new will brighten their spirits)
  • A trashy magazine (because even if the celeb gossip is out of date, us mamas still need something to take our mind off the *&%$ show happening around us)

This might seem silly and over-prepared, and we all hope we never need it. But if and when you get sick, it’s a relief to grab the bin and have everything you need on hand. It makes you feel organized, less panicked, and like you can have a fighting chance to beat the bug! 

Of course, label your bin using your household labels. And make sure all your kids’ stuff gets labeled for school so we can avoid these germs coming home in the first place! 

Are you starting daycare? You may want to read these tips to be prepared for the germs! 


Mabel's Labels is the leading provider of personalized labels for the stuff kids tend to lose.

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