Here we are again in “cold and flu season.” It has been a particularly bad year. Schools have had to close down because so many teachers and kids are out sick. What can you do about it? Here are a few reminders of simple things we can do to stop ourselves and our kids from getting sick:
- Wash for 20 seconds with regular soap and warm water. Duh. However most people don’t wash their hands very well, often enough, or at all. Many people don’t wash their hands after blowing their nose or coughing into their hands. The germs on their hands get on the things you and your kids touch. Antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizer just kill most of the germs - not all of them. This means that the worst and meanest germs can survive, grow and spread. Antibacterial resistance is a true concern. The action of rubbing hands together with a simple soap and warm water for 20 seconds is the most effective way to get rid of germs on your hands - it is the actual action of wiping and rinsing. Sing the birthday song while you do it to be sure you are spending enough time at it.
- Don’t share germs. Sharing is not so caring. The single biggest issue for why we and our kids might get the cold or flu is: exposure. You are contagious for about the first 3 days of a cold and 5-7 days or more with the flu. So: keep your germs to yourself- stay home, stay away from classmates and coworkers or wear a mask. You might think it's silly but much of Asia wears masks and gloves as a preventative measure against getting sick. Stopping the spread of illness can start with you and your family.
- Vitamin D. Vitamin D is a crucial vitamin that we make in our bodies, but only when our skin is exposed to direct sunlight. This time of year we have most of our skin covered and spend a lot less time out in the sun. Vitamin D is vital for a health immune system. Speaking of staying in doors:
- Fresh air. When its cold out we stay indoors at school and work and we keep the windows closed. There is much less air circulation. When we are indoors we breathe the same air as everyone else for longer - thus sharing more “germs.” Open a window and air out the house or office on occasion and get outside!
- Cut out sugar. Sugar depresses the immune system and reduces health allowing us to be susceptible to the cold and flu. Starting with Halloween we (especially kids) start eating sugar. The sugar feeds the bad bugs in our body straight through Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. By the time we throw out all the holiday sugar the bugs are strong and nasty and everywhere!
- Get adjusted. Chiropractic adjustments help the immune system stay strong. Ask any parent whose kids are under regular chiropractic care: their kids get sick way less than kids who don’t get adjusted.
- Get your immune system checked with Nutrition Response Testing. Get your health evaluated with Nutrition Response Testing to keep your immune system healthy and strong so that you and your kids don’t get the cold or flu. If you are sick, think you might have gotten exposed to a bug, or have gotten sick come in and see what your body might need.