5 Ways To Prevent Catching The Common Cold
Did you know that the average American gets the common cold 2 or 3 times a year?
Kids can catch as many as 6 colds each year. If you are around kids, chances are you are getting sick more than average.
The common cold goes around at rapid speed certain times of the year. It seems one minute everyone is healthy, and the next everyone is getting sick. When sick season creeps around no one wants to catch the sneezes, running nose, and scratchy throat. Being sick means missing work and/or school, getting behind and missing out on things you’ve been looking forward to.
You may assume by now we would have a cure-all for the common cold, but things get complicated because there are hundreds of different strains of the common cold. In fact, new strains arise every year. If the same exact strain of cold hit every year, people would stop getting sick because your body would build up an immunity to it. Instead, you continue to get sick because the common cold is constantly morphing and changing.
Thankfully, there are some things you can do to help prevent catching the common cold this year. Sit back, relax and take it all in, because this year you don’t have to get sick!
How Easily Does The Common Cold Spread?
Science hasn’t figured out how to cure and banish all colds, but it knows good and well how colds are spread from person to person. The facts concerning spreading colds and viruses are pretty scary; in fact it’s way too easy for the common cold to get around.
If your kids, roommate, colleagues or significant other is sick it’s very hard for you to not get sick as well. One research experiment proved exactly why. A group of sick individuals were asked to spend the night in a local hotel room.
The next morning they were asked to list everything they had touched in the room. Turns out 35% of everything they touched (door handles, pens, TV remote, faucets, telephones, light switches, and so forth) were all contaminated with the cold virus. The same study also found that 60% of people were infected with the virus after touching contaminated surfaces.
4 Ways To Prevent Catching The Common Cold
1. Avoid Sick People
The top two ways colds are spread is through sneezing and coughing. This is because sick germs are released when someone coughs or sneezes. It’s all too easy to unknowingly breathe in these same germ particles and become sick as well. If you hear someone sneezing or coughing find a polite way to exit the room and get some fresh air.
2. Wash Your Hands All The Time
The CDC considers hand washing the number one thing you can do to help prevent catching the common cold. Germs spread when you touch contaminated surfaces, such as using a desk after a sick person, or shaking hands with a sick person.
You don’t always know when you have touched something (or someone) contaminated so it’s always best to be safe rather than sorry. This means wash your hands as often as possible. If washing your hands isn’t an option, resort to hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content to kill off cold germs. (Learn More)
3. Don’t Touch Your Face
It’s common for humans to touch their face many times throughout the day; you might not even notice how often you do it. Your nose and eyes are the two easiest places for bacteria to enter your body. You never know when you come into contact with the cold virus, and so you should never touch your face without first washing or sanitizing your hands.
4. Get The Flu Vaccine
A flu shot is not going to prevent 100% of all common colds and flus, but it will greatly help reduce your risk of getting sick. It may also limit how sick you get. You need a new flu shot annually because new vaccines are generated each year to combat the current strains going around.
5. Get Plenty Of Sleep
Getting adequate sleep each night has been proven to help boost your immune system. Sleeping won’t help you dissolve all chances for getting sick but it will help your body fight off any intruders.
In a 2009 study, 153 healthy individuals were injected with a cold. For the next 5 days their illness and sleeping patterns were tracked. Those in the study that slept under 7 hours each night were as much as 3 times more likely to get sick with the cold. Those that slept at least 8 hours a night were better able to fight off the cold.
Looking to avoid catching the common cold this year? Visit Urgent Medical Center for your flu shot!