We’re sharing our tips on cold and flu prevention alongside a cute printable for the bathroom today with help from our sponsor, Vicks.
With three kids, two of which are in school, we’re constantly bringing home one thing or another. So it’s about time I say enough is enough! I’ve declared a war on germs and am not about to succumb to the latest illness that’s going around our community.
2With these tips from notable Manhattan-based physician Dr. Peterson, we’re able to reduce the germs we’re in contact with. Making these small adjustments to our daily lives can help us reduce the chance of cold or flu running rampant through our homes. Because there’s no fun in a sick house. Especially if my husband finally gets it. Which inevitably always happens these days.
My grandma would reach for the Vicks VapoRubTM topical ointment – a topical cough medicine with medicated vapors – any time we were sick when I was growing up. It starts working quickly to relieve cough symptoms (for ages 2+). Now we turn on our humidifier when any of us starts to feel icky (we have one for every bedroom) and put in Vicks VapoPads® when needed. But sometimes it’s better to prevent illness instead of just taking care of the symptoms all the time.
I made a few signs using PicMonkey (similar to how I made this Subway Art) in an effort to remind the kids of a our morning and evening routine to wash, wash, wash along with a few other essentials they need to be doing in the bathroom. Feel free to download them here.
4 Tips For Cold and Flu Prevention
Wash Your Hands
Wash your hands with soap and water regularly, especially after touching dirty surfaces like doorknobs and keyboards. Thorough washing should take as long as singing “Happy Birthday” twice.
I’ve found that when washing hands with the kids, having each kid sing the song (or a different verse of the song) makes them remember to wash for the proper amount of time. You could even frame a copy of the song in your bathroom next to the sink to remind people to sing along (out loud or in their heads) while washing.
Don’t Touch Your Face
Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth. These are direct entry points for germs. Most adults touch their face about 16 times a day, and children do a lot more often, increasing the spread of germs.
It’s super hard to stop this but staying cautious of how often you do touch your face will help reduce the contact. I find myself reminding my kids quite often during the day since they’re obsessed with picking their face, touching their ears and nose, and sucking on their fingers. It’s even harder because one of our kids is quite fond of their thumb.
Keep Common Areas and Surfaces Clean
Germs live on surfaces and spread to humans through skin contact so anything that we touch frequently can be a threat. Use disinfectant wipes to wipe down your workspace daily, as well as your telephone, mouse, and keyboard. Make sure you regularly disinfect doorknobs and shared electronics like TV remotes. Also, wash your children’s toys after playtime. We even have a dirty bin for toys that we load into the dish washer after we unload the dishes from the night before.
Don’t forget about the kitchen! Kitchens happen to be the filthiest room in the house. Sponges, countertops and sinks have been shown to have 488 bacteria per square inch due to residue and foodstuffs that breed bacteria. Ugh! I shudder to think of it.
Turn on your humidifier
Studies indicate flu viruses thrive in cold and dry places, making winter air an ideal breeding ground for the virus. By keeping humidity levels in your home between 40 and 60 percent you can reduce the survival of flu viruses on surfaces and in the air. It also helps my husband and son breathe better when in use.
The new Vicks Sweet Dreams Cool Mist Humidifier is the latest in an array of models that are designed to meet your family’s growing needs. The American Academy of Pediatricians recommends using a cool mist humidifier throughout the winter months to help relieve congestion and cough in children.
To help control your cough, you can try the Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier which releases a warm mist to help offer temporary relief from cough and congestion. You can also use it with Vicks VapoSteam® which creates a medicated steam with cough suppressant to relieve coughs for children ages 2 and older.
Vicks VapoPads® can be used in conjunction with Vicks Humidifiers to provide soothing Menthol or Sleepytime Rosemary & Lavender scented vapors for up to eight hours of comfort. I have the Mini Filter Free humidifier and love using the Vicks VapoPads® with it, but the Vicks Sweet Dreams Humidifier is on the wish list!