It is the season for colds and flu. Attendance at Bee’s school has taken a hit and it is all blamed on winter and the cold weather. In part that is true but the cold virus’s are around all year long…we are just more susceptible to them in the colder months due to being indoors more and windows and doors being shut. Even while writing this, Bee is off from school as she woke up with a high temperature and a sore throat.
I was recently invited by Sabina from Mummy Matters to attend an event with Olbas and Dr Roger Henderson to discuss all things relating to colds and get some advice and tips. As someone who generally picks up colds pretty quick this was the perfect chance to get some advice.
There are lots of ideas that go around about how people catch a cold such as going out with wet hair or standing on a cold surface. These are all complete myths. The only way to catch a cold is by direct exposure.
How are colds transmitted?
There are 2 ways colds are transmitted:
- By Airborne Droplet Transmission
- By Touch
Did you know that the air from an adult sneeze can reach 100mph (or even more) and droplets can reach 25 feet? Which is why it is always recommended to cover your mouth when you sneeze.
When to seek medical advice
- Temperature of 103-104F or more
- Vomiting consistently
- Not taking fluids
- Drowsy and no alert or lucid periods
- Coloured phlegm (coughed up) could indicate a chest infection
Dr Henderson advised never to be afraid to get your child checked out as sick children can deteriorate fast. In general a cold should crack within 2-4 days. Age 0-4 is the peak time for colds occurring in children and Dr Henderson believes exposing children to early nursery, general dirt etc helps build up and strengthen their immune system.
- Don’t force foods but fluids are important.
- Healthy foods and a better diet will help a cold get better quicker.
- Don’t have the children rushing around – get them to rest.
- Fresh air is helpful so do not be afraid to open some windows.
- Paracetamol – Ibuprofen does not take the temperature down as well as paracetemol, it is better for aches and pains. Aspirin is not suitable for children under the age of 12.
If you aren’t feeling well and vomiting then it can be hard to know how much water/medicine has actually been swallowed. The general rule is that if you vomit 10 minutes after then at least half of the liquid has gone into your system.
Hotspots and avoiding catching colds
There are many places where it can be easy to catch colds; mainly public places such as schools and nurseries, public transport….in fact most public places. One way to try to avoid catching a cold is maintaining strict hygiene.
Dr Henderson states:
If you want to avoid contracting – or spreading – a cold, strict hygiene is crucial. Sneeze into a disposable tissue and throw it away, wash you hands regularly or use sanitizing gel, avoid intimate contact and when you do wash your hands, do it thoroughly. Use soap and water and scrub for a minimum of 20 seconds. When you’re not near a sink, a hand sanitizer that’s at least 60 per cent alcohol is a good substitute.
When the dreaded family cold does strike, using a gentle yet effective Olbas decongestant can help soothe stuffy noses and offer relief to families across the UK.
The Family Home
The family home has certain areas which are a hotspot for catching a cold if someone has a cold in your family. Virus’s stay active a long time on hard surfaces so the kitchen and bathroom in particular are hotspots due to the numerous hard surfaces. It is a good idea to use anti bacterial wipes etc on these hard surfaces regularly to try to kill off any live virus that may be on them.
And finally, to improve your immune system, nothing is better than a healthy lifestyle and a good diet. If you have a healthy balanced diet with fruit and vegetables then supplements are not needed.
Thank you to Sabina, Olbas and Dr Henderson for hosting this event (and the amazing lunch too!)
Some recent research by Olbas has revealed some interesting facts:
- 70% of parents believe they have been responsible for passing a cold onto their children.
- The poll of 2000 Brits with kids found that dad is more likely to bring a cold virus into the home.
- Once a cold strikes it takes a full two weeks before every family member in the home has caught and recovered from the symptoms.
- Nearly half of parents make a deliberate effort to engage physical contact with their kids to avoid passing on a cold.
Olbas have a number of products to help the whole family to combat the symptoms of the common cold and flu. These include: Olbas Nasal Spray, Olbas Oil and Olbas for Children. You can find out more about all their products on their website: Olbas.