Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fed up with cold season

Warning. I'm about to get on a soap box people.

Seriously. Keep your children home if they are sick. Keep your children home until every last symptom has disappeared. We've been fighting cold after cold this winter and I have numerous friends who have battled the flu more than once this year. And where does it start? With just one person who is too inconvenienced to keep their child home when they are sick. And you know what is worse. Being one of the good parents! Actually keeping your child home while they get rid of every last symptom, watching them miss all their regular activities, school time, play dates, church time, etc. And THEN bringing them back to school/church/whatever only to have them get sick AGAIN because someone out there is too inconsiderate to keep their sick child home! And you know what else? Children react differently to the same cold strand. Just because your child has just a 'minor cold', doesn't mean that my child will only get a 'minor' cold.

Darcy has a good post about this here, thanks Kathy for posting that link!

Here are some steps you can take to reduce your and your family's chances of becoming infected with a virus that causes colds: (you can find the whole article here)

~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.
~Don't 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.
~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.
~Use paper towels in the kitchen and bathroom for hand washing. Germs can live for several hours on cloth towels. Alternatively, have separate towels for each family member and provide a clean one for guests.
~Throw tissues away after use. Used tissues are sources of virus that can contaminate any surface where they are left.
~Maintain a healthy lifestyle. While there isn't direct evidence to show that eating well or exercising can prevent colds, maintenance of a healthy lifestyle, with adequate sleep, good nutrition and physical exercise can help ensure that your immune system is in good condition and ready to fight infection if it occurs.
~Control stress. Studies have shown that people experiencing emotional stress have weakened immune systems and are more likely to catch a cold than their calmer counterparts.

Ok, I'm done with my rant.


Mary said...

Here here! Cabin fever or not stay home like the days of Little House on the Prairie. They stayed home for a sore throat in those days. I just watched!!

Kathy said...

thanks for the shout out ... as you know I totally agree!! by the way, I'm having a contest so go check it out! =)