Fall is here and it means so many things! It means pumpkin… everything and no one is complaining. It means fashion layers and knee high boots. It means s’mores and backyard cookouts. It means apple picking trips and lazy Saturday afternoons spent watching the leaves change color. It also means cold and flu season.
No one likes to admit it, but it’s a fact. From October through February, millions of Americans find themselves coughing, sneezing, congested, aching, uncomfortable – and sometimes, downright miserable.
In my humble opinion, the kids being back to school and around all those lovely kiddie germs makes this condition that much more intense. It seems to hit hard and hit frequently as the temps and leaves start to fall.
I mean, According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Americans suffer from one billion colds annually!!!
To educate consumers how best to protect themselves and their families from becoming sick, and to prevent the spread of illness, the makers of Vicks® Humidifiers have partnered with Manhattan-based medical expert and notable media personality, Dr. Keri Peterson, to share her tips on navigating through cold and flu season.
Here a 6 amazing tips to help you ace your cold and flu prevention regimen!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Manage Humidity Levels – 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. Here are some easy and effective ways to do it:
- The new Vicks EasyFill Cool Mist Humidifier is the latest model designed with your family’s needs in mind. The American Academy of Pediatricians recommends using a cool mist humidifier throughout the winter months to help relieve congestion and cough in children.
- The Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier releases up to 95 percent bacteria free, visible, warm mist that offers temporary relief from cough and congestion. For even more symptom relief, the use of Vicks VapoSteam® with the Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier or Vaporizer releases a medicated steam with cough suppressant to help relieve coughs and colds for children ages two 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.
- Watch Your Symptoms – Cold symptoms come on gradually and progress over time, typically starting with a sore throat, then a runny nose and eventually a cough. On the other hand, the flu hits fast and furious with the sudden onset of fever, aches, fatigue, cough and headache.
- Take Your Temperature – Fever can sometimes occur with a cold and is usually mild; with the flu it is common and higher, ranging from 100 degrees to 102 degrees. Taking your temperature is a good way to help determine which virus you have.
- The Vicks SmartTemp® Thermometer provides accurate readings in just eight seconds and is compatible with a free downloadable app that makes it easy to take and track temperature readings for the whole family.
I think this is really a great list with tips that are really effective yet pretty simple to put into place in the house with your family. While it may take a little effort to get up-to-speed and running, it’s a quick transition that will hopefully make the cold and flu season a little less severe.
In case someone does catch a cold or the flu, don’t panic! Again, there are some simple steps you can take to make the recovery a little better for all.
- Rest – Give your body some much needed rest and avoid contact with others. If your child is sick, make sure to keep him or her home from school in order to prevent spreading the illness to other kids and their families.
- Calm Your Cough – Vicks VapoRub™ topical ointment is a topical cough medicine with medicated vapors. It starts working quickly for children two and up as well as adults to relieve cough symptoms.
- Drink Fluids – Drink clear fluids like water, broth, sports drinks or electrolyte beverages to prevent dehydration.
Well, there you have it. A quick guide that I had to share with you to try to help us all get through what’s probably the toughest season of the year, right? LOL Enjoy every last fleeting minute of the Fall!! These times don’t last forever.