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How to Reduce Risk of Catching a Cold

How to Reduce Risk of Catching a Cold

The holidays are now behind us and the kids are preparing to head back to school.

Unfortunately, this is also the time of year when people catch the common cold the most.

The average adult will catch the common cold 3 to 4 times a year and kids can catch it up to an average of 6 times a year. This is why so many parents catch a cold more frequently than people who don’t have children.

The most common ways of the virus being spread is through coughing and sneezing. However, scientists are finding that some more intense versions of the cold virus can stay on surfaces for as long as 24 hours. Specialists even speculate that there may be as many as 200 different strands of the cold virus!

Despite modern medicine battling the virus for several decades, there is still no official cure for the common cold.

Here are three helpful ways to reduce the chance of catching a cold in the transition back to work and family life after the holidays.

1. Wash Your Hands

This one comes as a no brainer, but how well do you really wash your hands?

Did you change the kid’s diapers or wipe their noses and then quickly run into the kitchen to stop the pot of spaghetti from boiling over before dinner?

Be sure to scrub your hands thoroughly on both side of your hands until the soap turns into a good lather. You should wash your hands for as long as it takes you to sing the “Happy Birthday” song.

Make sure to use warm water as well.

2. Clean Surfaces

With some viruses staying on surfaces for as long as 24 hours, be sure to clean countertops, tables, door handles, and chairs after big gatherings or after the kids get done with crafts/activities.

Also, it may seem like overkill, but even cleaning the kids’ toys that they share with others might be a good idea as kids encounter and contract the cold virus so much more frequently than adults.

3. Keep A Good Diet

A nutrient rich diet is so important during the cold season.

There are so many sweets and goodies that show up this time of year that we tend to load up on the cookies and pies before we eat something with actual substance.

Vitamin C, Zinc, and Vitamin D have been found to help keep the immune system healthy to fight off the cold.

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Jonathan Ebert, PT, DPT
Jonathan is a New Hampshire native, arriving in California in 2012. He enjoys going to the beach with his wife, running, and playing lacrosse. He is currently a member of a Southern California men’s lacrosse league.