had another conversation starter today on tips for keeping your family cold and flu free.  Being the mom to teenagers it seems like as they get older they get sick less, thank goodness!  Being the mom to a little one and catching everything they catch is no fun.  So, here are my ideas on keeping cold and flu free this winter:

  • Wash your hands often. This is probably the single best measure to prevent transmission of colds. Especially after shopping, going to the gym, or spending time in public places, hand washing is critical. Frequent hand washing can destroy viruses that you have acquired from touching surfaces used by other people. You can also carry a small tube of hand sanitizer or sanitizing hand wipes when visiting public places. Teach your children the importance of hand washing too.
  • Avoid touching your face, especially the nose, mouth, and eye areas, if you are around someone with a cold or have been touching surfaces in a public area.  This is probably the most common tip that everyone will tell you.
  • Do not smoke. Cigarette smoke can irritate the airways and increase susceptibility to colds and other infections. Even exposure to passive smoke can make you (or your children) more vulnerable to colds.
  • Use disposable items if someone in your family is infected.Disposable cups can be thrown away after each use and prevent accidental spread of the virus from sharing of cups or glasses. This is particularly important if you have young children who may try to drink from others' cups.  Not to mention less dishes for you :)
  • Keep household surfaces clean. Door knobs, drawer pulls, keyboards, light switches, telephones, remote controls, countertops, and sinks can all harbor viruses for hours after their use by an infected person. Wipe these surfaces frequently with soap and water or a disinfectant solution.
  • If your child has a cold, wash his or her toys as well when you are cleaning household surfaces and commonly-used items.  I know this seems like a lot of work but it really works!  Lysol wipes are great for this!
  • Throw tissues away after use. Used tissues are sources of virus that can contaminate any surface where they are left.  Even my teenagers still have problems with this.  They are always piled all over the place - gross!
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle. While there isn't direct evidence to show that eating well or exercising can prevent colds, living  a healthy lifestyle, with enough sleep, good nutrition and exercise can help ensure that your immune system is in good condition and ready to fight infection if it occurs.
  • Control stress. I know easier said than done :)  Studies have shown that people experiencing emotional stress have weakened immune systems and are more likely to catch a cold than their calmer counterparts
So, do you have any other tips? I would love to hear them.  You can click on the title of this post and leave your idea.  

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Lysol blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”