Staying Healthy This Season
When the colder months of fall and winter approach, it seems that people get sick more often than other times of the year; although we are quickly approaching spring and new, harsh and deadly viruses are presenting themselves. It was originally believed that the main reason people got sick during the cold weather was not the cold front but due to migration of sorts, that is, people move inside when it is cold outside, and with them come all the germs they have confiscated and are now carrying around. With all these germs in confined spaces, it is much easier for it to multiply. So, how can you protect your family during this time of year?
Did you know that sleep is essential to protect yourself against illnesses? The Mayo Clinic, through extensive research and studies have found that, “infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don't get enough sleep. So, your body needs sleep to fight infectious diseases. Long-term lack of sleep also increases your risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease.”
Now that we’ve established that good sleep is necessary to staying healthy, what else can we do to protect ourselves and our families? Here’s a look at some things you need to do to keep your family healthy.
Learn About Common and not so Common Illnesses (re:COVID 19)
You should start by learning a bit more about the illnesses that are common in your location and climate. Understanding more about them will allow you to better build immunity to fight them and also take the necessary precautions to protect your family against them. You can simply go online to verified websites promoting factual information or current medical journals, to learn more about illnesses that include the common cold, the flu, ear infections, bronchitis and the much feared and talked about coronavirus. If you have real concerns, then seek the advice of a medical professional.
Most of these are viruses are spread through contact or exposure to someone who has the virus. For example, if someone has a cold and coughs without covering their mouth, the virus is dispersed into the air where everyone in the area can breathe it in and get infected. Another common way viruses are spread are by someone who is sick touching something that someone else then touches. For example, someone subconsciously rubs their eyes or nose and then touches a counter top. If an uninfected person then prepares a sandwich on that counter, they could ingest the virus and get sick.
Take Extra Steps Toward Health
One of the top ways to prevent the spread of viruses is to wash your hands often. Hands should always be washed before eating and after going to the bathroom. Hands should also always be washed after travel on public transportation. If soap and water cannot be used for any reason, then hand sanitizer or water wipes should be utilized.
You should also clean your house often. Ensure that you wipe surfaces with a disinfectant, especially if someone who has visited or lives in your home is sick. Be sure to wipe down areas that are touched often, like door knobs, handrails and light switches. This will help to kill any lingering germs. Opening windows, as the weather permits, is also useful to rotating the air that’s circulating throughout the home, bringing in new fresh air.
Encourage Good Habits
You also need to encourage good habits in your family members to help keep them healthy. Remind children to wash their hands often. Provide tissues and remind family members to use them when they sneeze or blow their nose as opposed to a cloth handkerchief, which will provide a good breeding ground for germs. Make sure children are taught to always cover their mouth when they cough and to cover their mouth and nose when they sneeze.
You also should encourage healthy eating and regular exercise. The healthier a person is, the stronger their immune system is. This will enable them to more easily fight off any germs that do end up coming their way.
Keeping your family healthy when it seems like everyone around you is sick can feel like a huge battle. However, following some simple tips and adopting healthy habits can help you fend off the worst germs this year and keep your family healthy.
Naimah Shaw is the mother of five beautiful children and the owner/content creator of the parenting blog, This Beautiful Life. There you can find product reviews, articles and conversations about food, homeschooling and motherhood. We are pleased to have her as a regular contributor to Fade Away Sleep Sounds.