10 ways to protect your family from cough & cold

The dreaded cough and cold season is already here and there can be nothing more painful than seeing your loved ones cough incessantly or struggle with a runny nose. In times like these, no matter how much you wish you had the superpower to magically remove any or all signs of sickness from them, the fact of the matter is that in the real world, this is just not possible. But what is possible is to stay prepared at all times. Because isn’t being prepared to fight the very first signs of cough and cold before it can cause any further damage to your loved one’s health like half the battle won?

Typically, we average three to four cough & cold episodes a year. Runny nose, sore throat, mild fever, sneezing, cough, nasal congestion and headache are some of the symptoms of common cough & cold. So, as a concerned person what can you do to prevent your loved ones from falling sick? While it is not possible to keep yourself and others 100% cough & cold proof but by practicing hygiene and by being careful of not coming in contact with cold germs you can easily escape the flu unscathed. How can you do that? We have got you covered some effective tips that will not only help you protect your family against the harms of cough & cold but also improve their odds of avoiding the season’s scourge.

CAUSES OF COMMON COLD & COUGH:

Common cold including chest and head cold is caused by viruses, the most common among them being the rhinovirus. Of all the common cold cases that you hear about during the season, Rhinovirus is responsible for almost 40% of the cases. The other cold-causing viruses include Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), Enterovirus, Metapneumovirus and Human Parainfluenza Virus. A cold usually starts when a virus attaches to the lining of your nose or throat causing inflammation, infection and development of mucus thus causing you to cough, shiver, feel pain in the muscles, lose appetite and feel extreme exhaustion.

Common cold typically last up for 7-10 days but if it exceeds this duration one must see a doctor as prolonged cold can lead to complications such as acute bronchitis, pneumonia and bacterial sinusitis.

PREVENTION OF COLD & COUGH:

Common cold is an illness caused by multiple viruses and scientists are yet to develop a vaccine that can prevent people from falling prey to this seasonal menace. Because so many viruses can cause cold and new cold viruses keep developing in the body, the body is unable to build up resistance against all of them. But with little care and protection, you can easily escape coming in contact with cold-causing viruses and keep yourself and your loved ones safe and sound. The precautions you need to take to avoid catching cold include:

1) Disinfect your surroundings:

2) Wash hands frequently:

Common cold is often transmitted from one person to another through hands. From shaking hands with person suffering from cold to touching counter tops or door knobs in public places, the virus can inflict your body from any corner. Thus it becomes pertinent to keep your hands clean at all times. Washing your hands frequently will stop the infection from spreading. Teach kids to wash their hands frequently with soap and water before handling food or post sneezing or coughing. An alcohol based hand sanitizer is another alternative that you can keep handy.

3) Stay away from sick people

To keep transmission of cold virus down, you should avoid coming in contact with people who are already inflicted with this disease. It is easy for the virus to spread through touch of hands or sharing of objects touched by people exposed to the illness. So, try avoid socializing with people already down with cough and cold. And if it’s totally unavoidable, you can cover your face with a clinical mask while talking to them as common cold is also transmitted via airborne droplets.

4) Keep tissues handy:

To avoid sneezing into others and contaminating them with the virus, always use a tissue. But be sure to throw them away every time as leaving used tissue on tables and countertops will contaminate the surface thus making everyone in the surroundings susceptible to infection.

5) Drink plenty of fluids:

Increasing your intake of fluids will not only keep you warm from within but also provide your immune system the strength to fight cold and cough. Sipping hot drinks like herbal tea, soups, warm water mixed with honey and lemon juice etc., soothe irritation and inflammation of the throat and also ease congestion by increasing the mucus flow.

6) Try herbal remedies:

Over the counter medicines may provide relief but they are not a long-term solution. Natural and effective Ayurvedic remedies can be a good alternative to help you fight the illness better. Products like Dabur’s Honitus Cough Syrup, Madhuvaani, Cough Drops and Hot Sip can help provide fast relief from cough and cold.They are made using natural ingredients like honey, tulsi, sitopaladi etc.

7) Avoid touching your face:

The cold virus can enter your body through eyes, nose and mouth. Therefore, if you have come in contact with a person exposed to cold, avoid touching your face if you have not washed or sanitized your hands properly.

8) Use paper towels:

Cloth towels can be a hub of viruses and so its use must be avoided if you have an infected person in the house. To avoid contamination and prevent others from falling sick, replace the cloth towels with paper ones.

9) Eat healthy to keep your immune system strong:

Eating a balanced diet and exercising goes a long way in making your immune system strong thus giving you the required strength and energy to fight any kind of illness. Vitamins rich nutritious diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables included in it can help you recover fast as well as decrease your chances of falling sick often.

10) Use disposable items:

Serve people exposed to cold in disposable utensils and discard them post use. Especially if you have children in the household this tip might come handy as children have the habit of picking food off other’s plate.

Remember treatments and remedies only provide temporary relief. What is important is to adapt a hygienic and healthy lifestyle that will help keep not just cold and cough but any disease that can hamper your health at bay.

Disclaimer:

  • The information on this page is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat your or your child’s problem without consulting a doctor.
  • Dosage and directions for any mentioned product/ medicine should be as per given on the label.

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