Having a cold and flu kit could save you a trip to the doctor - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Having a cold and flu kit could save you a trip to the doctor

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Many of us don't really think about getting sick until we actually do. Then, we wake up with a fever, headache or sore throat, and have nothing in the house to treat it!

There's nothing worse than being sick as a dog, and having to get in your car and drive to the drugstore. If you put together a cold and flu kit now, you can avoid all that. All you need are five things.

CVS Minute Clinic nurse practitioner Sheila Wilkey knows colds and flus. She sees them every day, and she volunteered to put together a cold and flu kit for FOX 5. The first item for the kit -- Mucinex.

"Mucinex helps to break up congestion and helps to move it, get it out, so that you're coughing it up and getting it out, you're able to blow it out," said Wilkey.

 The second item for the kit was cough medication.

"This is going to help you with some chest congestion, stuffy nose and cough, and give you some rest and a break from that cough that's keeping you up at night," explained Wilkey.

If have high blood pressure, be careful because some cough medication can raise it. Wilkey says make sure you have an allergy medication, like an antihistamine.

"That you can take once in the morning, once at night and will help prevent that mucus drip that is really bothersome from your nose back in your throat. Makes you coughy," said Wilkey.

One thing people really need, but often don't have or can't find, is a working thermometer.

"A thermometer is very important, especially in our children to know how substantial that fever is. The higher the fever, perhaps the more serious the illness is," Wilkey said.

The last thing you need is pain medication. Wilkey recommends ibuprofen - which can lower fever, reduce inflammation, and cut your pain.

"When you're not feeling well, pain can be paramount. Once you're behind pain, it's very difficult to treat it and get in front of the pain again," said Wilkey.

All five items in this kit will cost you about $25 to $30 dollars. It may be worth it the next time you wake up feeling like a truck hit you.

"And when you have the flu and you feel like you can't get out of bed, reach for your kit, see if that helps, and if it doesn't come in and be evaluated," advised Wilkey.

Other items you may want to add to your kit are tissues, sports drinks, orange juice and chicken soup. With the kit and these items, you'll be ready for anything.

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