Does the thought of winter bring visions of sick days to your mind? The common cold can last for 7-10 days and can quickly spread to other members of the family. When this happens, it can take weeks for the entire family to be healthy again. Avoiding the cold virus is the best thing you can do for you and your family. Here are some simple yet effective ways to protect your family this winter:

Wash Your Hands

This is the single best way to prevent a cold since hands are the easiest way for viruses to travel. Remind your family to wash their hands often – especially after being in public areas, before eating, and after using the bathroom. Hand sanitizers are another effective way of removing germs from your hands.

Disinfect

Keep household areas, such as kitchen countertops and bathroom sinks, clean. Clean areas that get touched by many people like doorknobs, telephones, and light switches. Viruses live for up to 3 hours, so if someone is already sick in your house, be sure to disinfect these areas often.

Practice Good Sneeze Etiquette

Sneezing is another way to spread germs. Teach your family proper sneezing etiquette. It is best to sneeze into a tissue that can be discarded. Washing your hands after sneezing into a tissue will provide extra protection. Teach children to sneeze into their elbows instead of their hands.

Don’t Share

Avoid drinking from someone’s glass or sharing utensils, especially during cold season. People are often contagious before they feel symptoms. At parties or social gatherings, use disposable cups or label glasses to avoid mix ups and exposure to other’s germs.

Avoid Stress

Stress weakens the immune system and makes you more vulnerable to catching a cold. Find ways to distress like yoga, meditation, or exercise.

Eat Well

Eating well is important year round, but it is especially during the winter months. Keep your kitchen stocked with immune boosting foods like dark green leafy vegetables and a rainbow of fruit varieties.

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is crucial to staying healthy. Children need more rest than adults. Doctors recommend that children between 3 and 6 years old get 10-12 hours of sleep per day. Older children need at least 9 hours per night.

Avoid Touching Your Face

Viruses travel on unwashed hands and enter the body through the nose, mouth, and eyes. Avoid exposure to germs by keeping your hands away from your face, especially when around others who are sick.

For any concerns about your child’s health, please call us at (615) 790-3200.