No one likes being sick and suffering through coughing, sneezing, congestion, and aching. Cold and flu season is dreaded by parents everywhere. As a parent myself, I can’t stand to see my little ones sick and I also fear becoming ill while I am trying to take of them. This post is brought to you by the makers of Vicks® Humidifiers in partnership with notable Manhattan-based physician, Dr. Keri Peterson, to share her super useful cold and flu season tips on how best to protect yourself and family from becoming sick.
Cold and Flu Season Tips
According to the CDC, adults catch an average of two to three colds per year and children even more. They also say that the average person takes 7-10 days to recover from a cold. WebMD says that 5-20% percentage of the U.S. population will get the flu each year. As you can tell, cold an flu season is a very real concern. Luckily, there are effective tips to help you reduce the odds of cold or flu infection. Dr. Keri Peterson makes 5 suggestions for preventing cold and flu.
1. Wash Your Hands
Even though this is a very basic cold and flu prevention tip, it is one of the most important. Wash your hands with soap and water often throughout the day, especially after touching surfaces that others have touched like doorknobs, keyboards, and banisters. Kids love to touch everything so they need to be reminded frequently to wash their hands. Thorough hand washing should take as long as singing the “Happy Birthday” song twice. A nice soak in DIY bath salts is another great way to get rid of germs and toxins.
2. Don’t Touch Your Face
Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth without washing your hands well first. These are direct entry points for germs. Touching your face often results in giving germs an entry and increasing the spread of germs.
3. Keep Common Areas and Surfaces Clean
Germs live on surfaces and spread to humans through skin contact so anything that we touch frequently could transfer germs. Use disinfectant wipes to wipe down your workspace daily, as well as your telephone, mouse, and keyboard. Make sure you regularly disinfect doorknobs and shared electronics. It is a great idea to send some disinfectant wipes to school for your child’s classroom.
4. Use A Humidifier
Here is a weapon to help you prepare for cold and flu season! Studies indicate flu viruses thrive in cold and dry places, making winter air an ideal breeding ground for the virus. By keeping humidity levels in your home between 40 and 60 percent you can reduce the survival of flu viruses on surfaces and in the air.
The American Academy of Pediatricians recommends using a cool mist humidifier throughout the winter months to help relieve congestion and cough in children. I have the Vicks Mini Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier which is one of the latest humidifier models and it can be used in conjunction with Vicks VapoPads®. I just love both the soothing Menthol and the Sleepytime Rosemary & Lavender scented vapors. They smell so good and they can be used for up to eight hours of comfort so they are perfect for a good night’s sleep. Vicks offers an array of humidifier models that are designed to meet your family’s growing needs and the Vicks Sweet Dreams Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier is especially great for kids because it is a great humidifier with the added benefit of projecting light images in three dream inspired themes.
5. Get a Flu Shot
Most medical professional recommend that everyone six months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every year. Flu vaccination should take place soon after the vaccine becomes available to the public, preferably in October.
There you have five cold and flu season tips from a doctor on how to keep your family well this fall and winter. I would add to that make sure you are getting plenty of sleep and eating well like you should year round to keep your immune system strong. How did you fare last cold and flu season? Do you think you might find some of these cold and flu season tips useful and if so which is your favorite?