Our product picks for cold and flu season

It's that time of year again, when days and nights are filled with runny noses and kids coughing. So we decided to put a few flu and cold products to the test to get you prepared for another germ invasion. All of these products are available at local stores or online at the major retailers.

 
 

Solid and functional

  • Starry Night, Vicks, $44.99
  • GermFree ColdMoisture humidifiers, Vicks, $59.99

Our editors loved how easy these two were to fill and dump. We admit we missed the comforting image of steam coming out of the humidifier-these have an invisible mist-but we could feel a strong current of cool air coming out of both. Both came with germ-free filters and were the workhorses of the bunch-solid and functional. Kids will like the stars projected on the ceiling with the Starry Night humidifier.

 
 

Local and good looking

  • Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifiers, Crane, $39.99-$45.99

The owl-shaped humidifier we tested was adorable and the double row of mist spewing out of its head was moist and comforting. This one was also easy to fill and clean. The teardrop-shaped humidifier blew out a nice stream of cool mist and was attractive enough even to be used in mom's room. We also liked that Crane is a local company-it's headquartered in Bensenville.

 
 

Fast and Easy

  • Exergen TemporalScanner, $39.99

We were eager to try this thermometer after seeing it on TV commercials. Taking a temperature is as super easy and fast as promised. It proved accurate, too, alerting on a fever in one of the five testers who was sick.

 
 

Most accurate

  • 3-in-1 Family Thermometer, Summer Infant, $30.29

This one was extremely accurate. The thermometer was easy to use and includes three separate attachments for rectal, oral and underarm. Best of all, all the attachments store within the thermometer-no searching for missing pieces in the middle of the night.

 
 

Mixed results

  • Behind Ear Gentle Touch Thermometer, Vicks, $32.99

We had mixed results with this thermometer. It was very easy and quick to use, but the thermometer gave the same reading when tested on several people and failed to register a fever on one of our testers who actually had a fever.

 
 

Cute and cuddly

  • Thermal-Aid Zoo, $19.95

These super-cute stuffed animals are actually heat and cold packs perfect for feverish heads or sore bellies. Our testers loved snuggling with the warm bears after they were heated in the microwave and the cold packs beat messy ice bags that end up dripping all over pillows.

 
 
 







 
 
 
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