A “Gift” You Don’t Want to Give: Five Ways to Stop a Cold From Spreading

It’s the holiday season, filled with get-togethers, love, friends, family and good cheer. But with it comes cold season! The cold virus is making the rounds, and, well, you just might be next. And if you do happen to be the unfortunate next victim in your circle of family and friends, let the holiday spirit guide you to do the right thing and make sure the cycle ends with you. Stop that cold from spreading!

This holiday season, you’ll definitely have times that you’d prefer to be with family and friends, even if you’re a little bit sick. Maybe you’re finding yourself at Aunt Donna’s house on Christmas Eve, but you’re still fighting this awful cold. Or maybe one of your kiddos is the unlucky victim. You can’t quarantine your family, but a cold isn’t the kind of gift you want to give. So how can you avoid spreading your cold along with your holiday cheer?

Here are five tips for preventing others from catching your cold:

Cough into your arm to help stop a cold from spreading

Cough Into Your Arm to Help Stop a Cold From Spreading

The CDC, the American Public Health Administration, and even the New York City subway are all in agreement on one thing: You should direct your sneezes and coughs into the bend of your arm . Many of us have the old habit of covering our mouths with our hands. Yes, this does keep us from contaminating the immediate area around us, but using your hands to block a cough just turns your digits into the contaminating agents. You’ll still be contaminating any surface you touch! So keep sneezes and coughs restricted to the crook of your elbow and keep yourself from becoming a walking contaminant.

Disinfect, Scrub Down, and Decontaminate

When you or a member of your household is sick, even if you’re sneezing into the crooks of your arms, you’re likely to be spreading germs by touch. And those germs are survivors! They can stay alive on a surface for up to 24hrs ! Frequent wipedowns of high-traffic items and areas of the house will help to minimize the spread of the cold virus. Using disinfectant on phones, keyboards, countertops, etc. is ideal. Also, be sure to wash utensils thoroughly after their use. No need for Timmy to be chomping germs down with his greens.

Wash Up, Wash Down, Wash Those Hands All Around

Make sure you’re washing your hands frequently when you’re sick! Those hands quickly become home to tons of nasty germs for a variety of reasons. For instance, on average, people touch their faces 2-3 times a minute ! Each time you touch your face is another chance for germs to get onto those hands and turn them into contamination agents! It’s ideal to just not touch your face at all, but in case you pass germs on to your hands at any point while sick, just play it safe and be sure to hit the sink for a regular scrub. Soap and warm water works just fine. Wash for the entire length of the “Happy Birthday” song and you’re good to go! To prevent your family or partner from catching your cold, it’s good to encourage them to wash their hands frequently while you’re sick too!

Create a Sick Room

Keeping the germs to a minimal location spread is ideal. If a cold or flu is making the rounds through your family, it can be helpful to designate a “sick room” . You want to minimize exposure for the family as a whole to the sickness that’s got a member or two of the family down and out for a couple days. Set up the room with everything they might need: tissues, medicine, their favorite creature comforts, maybe even a pitcher teapot with drinks. Ideally, just one person would take care of the sick one, with everyone else staying out. This is a simple and effective way to at least restrain a virus’ ability to spread to everyone in the house!

Yup, More Washing

As the cold starts to subside, you want to be sure that the germs aren’t given a chance to linger in any unclean laundry. Be sure to wash sheets, blankets (especially your favorite cold blanket), towels, clothes (including gloves and scarves), and other possibly contaminated items of laundry as you’re recovering. Those items can easily hold onto some of those icky germs and some are likely to end up in close proximity of multiple family members. Make sure you’re not contaminating a member of the family with your laundry items just as you’re getting better!

Another great way to keep from getting others sick is to recover from your cold faster! Perhaps you can’t take time off of work with just a cold, you have unalterable plans for staying with family during holidays, or you’re scheduled to be Santa at the mall this weekend and there are no backups. Yikes, you can’t let those kiddos down! Whatever your commitments, a good way to make sure you aren’t spreading your cold while out and about is by reducing the amount of time you’re sick.

So recover faster! Cold-EEZE zinc lozenges can help to shorten your cold by up to 42%, when taken at the first sign of a cold and used as directed. That’s 42% faster that you could get back to work (gotta afford holiday leave somehow), get back to family (that’s what holiday leave is for, right?), and get back to spreading holiday cheer (and just holiday cheer). What are your holiday plans? Let us know on Facebook,Instagram and Twitter.