We’re officially in cold and flu season, and it’s almost a given that either yourself or your child will catch a cold at some point this winter. Although there’s no method of avoiding all sickness bugs, there are some things you can do to help keep them at bay over the colder months.

1.Know the duration of colds. 

If someone in your home gets a cold or flu virus, you should know that they can shelter the virus for one day before getting sick and for up to seven days after getting sick. During that time, designate a special part of the house for the sick person, such as an extra bedroom or the comfiest couch in the living room, to keep them from contaminating other parts of the house.

2. Limit movements.

Colds can stay with a person for one day before showing symptoms, and up to seven days after getting sick. Try to limit their movements around the home, and if possible, keep them separate from the rest of the family in a spare bedroom, or comfy sofa.

3. Beware of sharing. 

Try to avoid sharing cups, glasses, plates, and utensils that can pass germs from one family member to another. Clean everything in hot soapy water or in the dishwasher and don’t leave anything lying around the house. The same goes for bath and hand towels where possible.

4. Disinfect surfaces.

Wipe down surfaces with a clean, disposable paper towel instead of a sponge, and then throw out the towel. Pay special attention to bedside tables, bathroom counters, door handles. sink handles, and kitchen counters; as these tend to be where people have the most contact.

5. Keep plenty of tissues available around the house. 

Teaching the children to use tissues for sneezing, coughing, and nose blowing is a good way of containing germs. Make sure tissues are thrown out directly into the bin afterwards to avoid cross-contaminating.

6. Teach kids proper hand-washing.

Best practice is to wash hands in soapy water for as long as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice. Between washings, avoid touching your hands to your face. Set out paper towels instead of cloth towels for hand-drying in your kitchen and bathrooms, or designate towels for each person.

7. Offer hand sanitisers. 

This is an easy way to make sure hands are kept sanitised at all times. Make sure your hand sanitiser contains at least 60 percent alcohol, and just spray the hand sanitiser into the hands and rub hands together until they are dry. These are also really handy to keep in changing / hand bags for on the go.

 

Once everyone in the household is old enough, a flu shot would be a good idea to avoid any serious cases. However even if your little one does catch a cold, this is simply nature’s way of building up a healthy immune system!