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Don’t be caught out by nasty colds and flu this winter – you can treat the whole family’s sniffles quickly and effectively without needing a prescription. Here’s how

Babies, toddlers and preschoolers

Your little one’s developing immune system makes them more prone to picking up colds and flu, but most of the time their symptoms can be treated effectively with over-the-counter medicines.


It’s important to check your little one’s temperature regularly to make sure they haven’t got a fever – a temperature of 37.5°C or more could mean they are fighting an infection. Calpol Infant Suspension is ideal for treating a fever in babies, toddlers and children from two months old. And make sure you’ve got a digital thermometer handy too.

Blocked noses

Blocked noses are a common symptom of a nasty cold, but this can be relieved even in very small babies with the Snufflebabe Nasal Aspirator – allowing you to manually and hygienically clear your baby’s nose. Or, if you prefer, Tesco Pharmacy recommends Sterimar Baby Nasal spray for quick, easy cleansing.


Children under six years old should use special cough medicines containing glycerol to soothe dry throats. Calcough Infant Syrup can be used from three months old. Tesco Pharmacy also recommends Simple Linctus Paediatric formula for little ones aged over 12 months.


There are so many different things you can buy now to treat colds and flu that it’s hard to know what to buy for your various symptoms. Generally, the NHS recommends that you rest up, keep hydrated and take paracetamol or ibuprofen to help manage your aches. There are also things you can buy over-the-counter to help treat individual symptoms – here are our top picks.

Blocked nose

Try a Vicks Sinex Nasal Spray to directly relieve a stuffy nose – it’s portable for handy on-the-go relief too.

Sore throat

A decongesting hot drink can help relieve a sore throat, as well as targeting headaches, fever, blocked noses and body aches. Lemsip Max Strength sachets contain paracetamol for pain relief, and the lemon flavour is soothing for sore throats.


Cough syrups are a good way to treat chesty coughs by loosening mucus and helping you breathe easier. Benylin Chesty Non Drowsy Cough Syrup is a good option that won’t worsen any fatigue you may have. Or for quick relief, try soothing throat pastilles.

Cold and flu tablets

If standard painkillers aren’t enough, you can try special cold and flu tablets to target the virus. Tesco Max Strength Cold & Flu capsules are split into day and night tablets, to provide round-the-clock relief from headaches, sore throats, blocked noses and fever. Day capsules also contain caffeine to relieve fatigue and drowsiness.

Vapour rub

A soothing vapour rub can be used in several ways to ease congestion. Apply the calming, menthol balm liberally to sore necks, chests and backs to help clear sinuses, or use as a steam inhalator by melting a spoonful in hot water – it’s also suitable for children over two years.

In any case, the best way to get over a cold or flu is simply to rest, eat well and drink plenty of water – your immune system will take care of the rest.

Check out Tesco Pharmacy’s advice for specifically treating babies and toddlers with colds and flu


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