Winter's here and with it comes the dreaded season of coughs, colds and family flu. The genius germs responsible can operate with such ruthless cunning that one sickly family member can guarantee the rest of the household is sure to fall. So what can you do to keep bugs at bay this winter?
Try these tips for healthier living this winter:
Always wash hands
Most viruses and bacteria get spread when a person touches someone sick or touches something that a sick person has been in contact with. Frequently washing your hands (and the kids') with soap and warm water for 15 seconds will decrease your chances of catching or spreading germs. If you don't always have access to water, use wet wipes or liquid hand sanitisers.
Keep your germs to yourself!
Sharing makes the world a better place it's a rule families cherish and one we teach children from an early age. But sharing personal items like cups and dining utensils, toothbrushes and towels is one type of sharing you can discourage. Instead, teach family members to avoid sharing germs by using their own items. These items should be kept clean and (where necessary) replaced regularly.
Use your elbow
While covering your mouth when you cough may seem to be the polite thing to do, if you don't wash your hands immediately, you'll spread germs. Instead, teach children to turn their heads and cough or sneeze into their elbow. Since we don't often make contact with other people using our elbow this an easy way to prevent spreading viruses.
Disinfect germ carriers
When a family member is sick, household objects like the television remote and the telephone handset can collect germs through incidental use. Use soap and water or a regular household disinfectant to wipe down potentially affected items.
Prevention is the best medicine
With many common illnesses, the infected person can be contagious before any symptoms are obvious. For that reason, prevention really is the best medicine. Try to practise common-sense measures such as frequent hand washing and make sure your family eat a healthy diet with lots of fluids and get lots of rest! As an additional measure, speak to your doctor about optional seasonal vaccines.