After Holiday Travels, be Prepared for Unwanted Surprises

Holiday Travels and Unwanted Surprises

After a great season of holiday travels with the family – the last thing you want to deal with are unwanted surprises. Here’s what to do if your kids get colds, head lice, and itchy skin as well as gifts during the holidays. 

The holidays are a great time to reconnect with seldom-seen friends and family, as well as indulge in goodies and gifts. But sometimes after the fun, kids arrive home with more than trinkets. Here’s what to do if your child also brings home a cold, a rash or (horrors!) head lice.  

While kids are eager to play outside in the colder weather (who can resist a snowball fight?) more often than not they are cooped up inside watching movies, playing video games or helping mom and dad bake holiday treats. Holiday travels can also mean close quarters in cars and planes. It’s almost guaranteed that if one family member gets a cold, others in the house will catch it.

Sharing winter hats or capturing memories in photos can result in another kind of infestation. “In the case of head lice, any head-to-head contact – such as taking a selfie with a cousin at a family get-together – could be enough to cause an infestation,” cautions pharmacist and author Sherry Torkos, BSc, Phm, RPh. “In fact, head lice represent the second most common health issue infecting school-age children in the U.S., next to the common cold.”

Holiday Travels and Unwanted Surprises

Torkos offers natural solutions to three common outdoor ailments

  • Dry, itchy winter skin: “Oatmeal baths can help relieve dry, itchy skin. Add two cups of ground colloidal oatmeal (not breakfast oatmeal) to a tub of warm water (hot water can further dry out and irritate skin). Then apply a moisturizer with soothing and hydrating ingredients such as vitamin E, aloe, and lavender. Supplements that contain gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), such as evening primrose or borage oil, may help reduce itching and inflammation.”
  • Head lice: “A lot of parents are concerned about putting pesticides on their children’s heads. And resistance is a big issue, especially now that pyrethroid-resistant ‘super lice” are in almost every state. Clinical research has found that neem oil, which is readily available over-the-counter as Lice-Nil, is 100 percent effective for killing lice and nits. Even super lice! Just one 20-minute application and you’re done.”
  • Colds: “Many over-the-counter cold products are not recommended for children less than four years old because studies have found they really don’t help the symptoms and they carry the risk of significant side effects. Try a dark honey, such as buckwheat, for a cough; zinc lozenges or elderberry pastilles for a sore throat; and a saline rinse or neti pot to help to clear mucus from clogged sinuses. A few drops of essential oil can provide some added benefits.”

You may not be able to monitor every minute of your kids’ activities during holiday travels and family gatherings, but you can be prepared to take swift action should they bring home something other than gifts and memories.

A little more about Sherry Torkos:

Sherry Torkos is a pharmacist, author, and health enthusiast with a passion for prevention. Sherry graduated with honors from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science in 1992. Since that time, she has been practicing holistic pharmacy in the Niagara region of Ontario. Her philosophy of practice is to integrate conventional and complementary therapies to optimize health and prevent disease.  Sherry has won several national pharmacy awards for providing excellence in patient care.

As a leading health expert, she has delivered hundreds of lectures to medical professionals and the public. Sherry is frequently interviewed on health matters by radio and TV talk shows throughout North America and abroad.

Sherry has authored 18 books and booklets, including The Canadian Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Saving Women’s Hearts, and The Glycemic Index Made Simple.

For more information visit, and see what other great advice she has to offer this season!


*Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored, all opinions are my own. 

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