Let’s face it, whether you’re a mom, dad, or sibling; when one person in the family is sick, everyone is exposed and possibly infected. When I was growing up, if one of us got sick, each person got sick in turn. I guess it could have been worse–we could have all been sick at the same time with no one to make the chicken soup. A healthy family impacts every single member.
Sometimes it’s just a cold or a two-day tummy virus. But sometimes it’s the flu, mumps, or chicken pox. Immunizations have cut down on many illnesses, but not all. Not yet.
So even if you want your family to skip the cold season, can you do that? Is it even possible? Actually, with a little planning, it is very possible.
First of all, most germs are spread by touching. Since viruses that cause colds can remain infectious for up to one hour, frequent hand washing is still the most important precaution you can take. Washing your hands does not completely protect you when you consider that those viruses can survive on hard surfaces for up to 7 days!
So, imagine this scenario: a child care center with 5 teachers and 20 students. One student has been infected with a cold virus and is allowed to come to school because his temperature is only slightly higher than usual. During the day, he becomes sicker and the parent is called to pick him up early. By this time, the child has played with and touched or chewed on several toys, which other children have also touched and played with, and that the teachers have also picked up to clean or just to tidy up. The teacher may remember to wash her hands after picking up toys, or she may not. All it takes is one moment when the fingers have touched an infected surface and then touched the face, the eyes, the nose and it doesn’t matter if she remembers to wash her hands every single time during the day after that. She’s infected. And she may not be the only adult to be infected. Each child and each adult who is infected can keep the germ spreading indefinitely.
So, what’s the answer? Frequent hand washing, of course. All it takes is soap and water, and you can get rid of 98% of disease-causing germs before they invade. Limit your exposure if possible, during cold and flu season.
Consider taking preventive measures such as:
- Drinking plenty of fluids, especially water and juices with Vitamin C
- Get plenty of rest each night (you get the most beneficial sleep before midnight)
- Take a multivitamin supplement daily. Get chewable or gummies for children.
- Use a product such as Airborne, Echinacea, or up your dosage of Vitamin C supplements.
- Carry and use hand sanitizer generously.
- Use a humidifier in the home.
Combine some common-sense preventive measures with frequent hand and surface cleaning, and have a cold-free winter this year.
What tips have worked for your family in cutting down on winter sickness? Share it with other families below–we’d love to have your input!