Getting sick at any time of year is inconvenient but in winter it can make you feel even more miserable. While there’s no miracle cure for colds and flu, there are things you can do to prevent their onslaught. We’ve rounded up a few tips to help keep you and your kids in good health this winter.
Keeping your body fit, eating right and sleeping well go a long way to preventing a nasty cold or bout of flu. It doesn’t hurt to boost your immune system with an annual flu shot, and many people also swear by natural supplements such as zinc, echinacea and vitamin C. Try this antiviral drink made from lemon, ginger and honey, just a tablespoon a day is said to be a highly effective concoction to improve the immune system and reduce cold symptoms.
The most common method of picking up cold and flu germs is via our hands so washing them regularly throughout the day or using hand sanitizer will lessen the risk of catching something. Surfaces in public bathrooms are notorious for being germ havens so avoid if possible. This goes for food halls and cafes, use a fork or a spoon rather than your hands to eat food, or if eating a sandwich wrap it in a napkin.
Children are mini breeding grounds for cold and flu viruses at this time of year and can infect an entire household without warning. If your child has been invited on a play date and there’s a child with a cold then it’s pretty likely that yours will get it too. So, since prevention is better than the illness, don’t feel bad cancelling a play date, it’s better that your child stays well. This works the other way too, if your kid is sick protect others by keeping them at home to recover.
Sometimes it isn’t feasible to cancel the invite, especially if it’s a birthday party with ten other children that has been looked forward to for months. To lessen the chance of harmful bacteria lingering on skin and clothes, after the party head them straight to the bathroom to wash their hands. Then change them into ‘home clothes’ with the ‘party clothes’ going straight in the washing machine.
Did you know shopping trolley handles are loaded with other people’s germs? If your child regularly sits in the trolley when you go shopping then this is a surefire way to catch something. Fix this by simply wiping it down with your own, or the store’s antibacterial wipes that they should offer (if they don’t feel free to pop a note in the suggestion box).
Our 5 top tips to keep cold and flu germs at bay:
- Have a flu shot
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 30 seconds
- Use hand sanitizer if you’ve been out in a public place
- Up the vitamin C intake in your diet or with a supplement
- Stay away from other sick people.