It is that time of year again, when common cold prevention tips are on a lot of folks’ minds. The two groups that are most effected by illness this time of year are the very young and the very old. Everyone in between can still get sick, but they are able to get through it much easier and faster. If you have kids in school, it is nearly impossible to keep your kids well. The best way to get rid of a cold is to avoid getting one in the first place. Here is a great list of tips to help you stay away from those winter sniffles this year:
Common Cold Prevention Tips
- Hand Hygiene: You hear it over and over again, but hand washing is the most effective way to prevent the spread of germs that cause the common cold. As 80% of all bacteria are spread by touch, you can therefore prevent that number from infecting your kids by reminding them to wash their hands frequently.
- Cover up: Help kids to remember to cover their mouth and/or nose when sneezing/coughing. Did you know a sneeze can transport germs up to 12 feet at a rate of 100 MPH! That is a lot of available space to spread those germs. Just remind your kids to wash their hand thoroughly after sneezing or coughing.
- Disinfect: Did you know that germs can live on a surface for hours? Bearing that in mind, you need to disinfect those surfaces that are frequently used in your home. You can use a disinfectant spray or wipes or you can mix bleach with water and spray that for killing 99% of germs. Use those wipes the grocery stores provide you and wipe your cart handle before using.
- No Sharing: This is one instance that you don’t want to encourage This is one instance that you don’t want to encourage your kids to share. It is strongly recommended that you either designate one set of eating utensils for each person in your family or use disposable items. When washing the items, be sure to use hot water.
- Be Proactive: Take care of yourself and prevent getting sick to begin with! Remember your mom telling you that you needed to take your vitamins, especially the “C” kind? There was a good reason for that. If you can eat well, get enough sleep and take your vitamins and other nutrients, you can gain a lot of ground in keeping the common cold out of your house. If your kids want to learn about the common cold or other viruses and bacteria, GIANTmicrobes is a company with a very clever concept; have fun learning about these little critters that make you sick.
Make Learning Fun
When you are teaching your kids about the ways to prevent the common cold, make learning fun by making a game of it! If you visit GIANTmicrobes, you will see a ton of different viruses and bacteria which have been transformed into cute and cuddly little critters. I first learned about the company when I was working in the hospital while in nursing school. One of the nurses ordered the MRSA doll to use when educating patients about this very serious and very resistant virus that was showing up in a large number of patients. The cute little caped critter was friendly looking so kids weren’t afraid of it, so it made teaching them less scary. We found the tool to be very effective and we encouraged parents to consider using their own GIANTmicrobe in their home to take the fear out of the germs that make us so sick.
With Henry, we have always struggled with him when he would get sick. With his autism, often times things that happen to you or I seem insignificant but to him, they can seem monumental. When he gets sick, he gets absolutely terrified. I was so excited when Nicole from GIANTmicrobes hooked me up with not one but two adorable plush cuties. Nicole sent Henry the Gigantic Common Cold ($29.95) and Caitlin received Smooch ($12.95). Henry has really taken to “Coldy” as he calls it and we were able to talk about how we get sick, how to get better and all that goes with it. If you have little ones at home, these are such a great conversation starter. They would also make a really cute Christmas gift for your kid’s favorite science teacher! Encourage you to visit GIANTmicrobes and browse through their immense collection.
One reader will receive one Hand Washing Kit ($24.95)
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