The holiday season is here, but that’s not all: the cold season is in full swing, and the holidays can be one of the biggest spreaders of the common cold. Getting together is what the holidays are all about, but there are things you can do to make catching a cold less likely.
1. Stay Home if You’re Sick
Of course, if you’re already sick, tips to avoid the common cold aren’t really going to do you any good. Still, if everyone who feels sick stays home, that would cut down the spread of the common cold! Do your part this holiday season by avoiding spreading your cold to your loved ones. It might not be fun, but they’ll appreciate not getting sick!
If you do decide to spend time with your loved ones despite feeling sick, avoid getting too close to others, wash your hands often, don’t cough or sneeze into your hands, and drink plenty of water.
2. Wash Your Hands Often
Whether you’re feeling sick or not, you should wash your hands often during cold season. If you don’t have a cold, this will help prevent you from catching one from someone else. If you do have a cold, washing your hands often will help prevent you from spreading the cold-causing viruses currently in your body.
You should wash your hands after coughing or blowing your nose, before eating, and before touching your face.
3. Avoid Close Contact With Sick People
Let’s face it, sometimes people go to holiday gatherings even though they know they have a cold. With so much excitement and holiday cheer, we can’t really blame them, even if it might be safer to stay home.
If someone at your holiday gathering is showing cold symptoms, politely avoid close contact. You can let them know that you care for them in other ways while protecting yourself from catching a cold.
4. Avoid Touching Your Nose, Mouth, or Eyes
The key way that colds are spread is when a healthy person touches a surface or object with cold-causing viruses present and then touches their face, allowing the virus to spread.
You can catch a cold through contact with your eyes, nose, or mouth, so it’s worth it to avoid touching your face to prevent yourself from catching a cold.
5. Keep Warm
According to Yale Medicine, cold-causing viruses grow best in cold conditions. To prevent yourself from developing a cold, try to stay warm while out and about. If you’re traveling to a colder area, be sure to bring a coat and hat, and avoid spending too much time outside.
6. Eat Plenty of Fruits and Veggies
The vitamins and nutrients in fruits and vegetables can be a powerful tool against the common cold. These nutrients help to boost your immune system and overall health, making your body better able to fight off cold-causing viruses.
Be sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables of all different colors.
7. Cut Back on Drinking and Smoking
Both smoking and drinking can bring down your immune system, weakening your defenses against the common cold. While smoking dries out your nasal passage and impacts your ability to keep viruses out of your lungs, drinking hurts your ability to fight infections and removes important hydration from your body.
Get Treatment for the Common Cold at Family Medicine and Geriatric Center
This holiday, give your loved ones the gift of good health by doing your part to prevent the spread of the common cold. Do your best to avoid catching a cold, and be sure not to come in close contact with others if you think you might be sick. We know it might be a bummer, but staying home when you have a cold can help keep everyone safe.
If you do catch a cold, you can usually treat it with over-the-counter cold medicines. However, if you’re experiencing severe cold symptoms, or if your cold gets worse instead of better, come see a physician at Family Medicine and Geriatric Center in Edinburg.