The holidays are a time for gathering with loved ones — unfortunately, it’s also the time of year colds and other viruses flourish. However, you can prevent falling ill by learning facts about common cold transmission and immune boosting. To stay healthy this year, implement these tips.
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Wash Your Hands Frequently
Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds kills germs, making it a great defense against getting sick. When a sick person touches a surface, then you touch it, you may accidentally pick up those germs. If you then touch your face, you may allow the bacteria or virus into your mouth, eyes or nose.
Hand sanitizer can also help, but experts recommend washing if possible. Also, keep in mind that only brands with 60% or more alcohol are effective.
Don’t Share Food & Drinks
The mouth is a gateway for many airborne illnesses, and the danger isn’t limited to coughing or sneezing. Sharing food can also transfer viruses and bacteria, leading to infection. To avoid getting sick, don’t share any of the following:
Get the Flu Vaccine
Getting vaccinated against influenza can reduce your risk of contracting it. Unfortunately, the flu can be severe enough for hospitalization, so avoiding it should be a top priority. Unlike vaccines for childhood illnesses, you must get a flu vaccine every year since there are many different strains.
Airborne illnesses linger in places with poor ventilation. During the winter, closing all doors and windows makes sense, but that can create a breeding ground for viruses. To increase ventilation, employ fans or run your HVAC system. If you have a fire pit, you can move the party outside, where ventilation is vastly improved.
Boost Your Immune System
The best way to boost child’s immune system is to live a healthy lifestyle:
- Eat nutritious foods
- Get enough sleep
- Exercise regularly
Additionally, studies show that certain vitamins support the immune system:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B6
A supplement can deliver an extra burst of these vitamins, but you still need to eat a variety of produce to keep your body supplied with nutrients and calories.
Wear a Face Mask
Face masks can be uncomfortable, but they play an essential role in keeping airborne particles from infecting others. A face mask catches a large percentage of viruses and bacteria during a cough or sneeze; the efficiency depends on the type of mask and if it’s worn correctly.
Even if you decide not to wear a mask, you can reduce the risk of spreading illness by covering your mouth when coughing. It’s best to cough into your elbow rather than your hand since you may accidentally spread germs by shaking hands or touching objects.
Wipe Down Communal Areas
Bleach can kill viruses and bacteria, making it a powerful tool during the cold months. Wipe down eating surfaces, counters and other communal spaces. You should also consider cleaning the following less-obvious places:
- Sink handles
Getting sick is no fun, especially around the holidays. Taking precautions, such as giving your kids baby multivitamin drops, can keep you well throughout the festivities. Make memories this year without the sniffles.