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Sick Alert: Keeping Colds From Spreading to the Rest of the Family


By Becky Mansfield, Your Modern Family

Four weeks ago, I caught it – my first cold this year. I rarely get sick (I usually say it’s because I was a teacher, so I was around different germs from thirty kids 5 days a week… I’ve built up a pretty good immunity to it).

Now that I have four kids of my own, my thoughts went right to them: how do I keep my cold from spreading to them?

1. Be prepared!
Do you have everything that you need just in case they get sick? I make sure my medicine cabinet is ready to go with Children’s TYLENOL® Oral Suspension, which is easy on kids’ stomachs and temporarily reduces fevers. As a bonus, I always have BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages on hand to cover any open wounds to prevent germs from getting in and speed up healing. My kids love anything with their favorite characters on them!

2. Wash your hands!
We all know germs spread fast. According to the CDC, 80 percent of infectious diseases are spread simply with touch. The germs get onto your hands, and then when you touch your eyes and mouth, the germs get into your body. An easy way to show your children just how fast germs spread is with this simple activity:
Take a balloon and blow it up.

  • Now put flour on your hands and touch the balloon all over. Pass the balloon to your kids and tell them to play with it. 
  • Now show them how the flour has spread to their hands: The flour represents germs.
  • Teach your kids to really RUB their hands together (the action of washing is what is going to get those germs away).
  • Let them sing the ABC song while they wash…that’s how long they need to wash their hands.

3. Cough and sneeze into your elbow.
When you cough into your elbow instead of your hands, the germs won’t spread by transferring from your hands when you touch someone or something else.

4. Take care of yourself!
Take a soothing bath and prepare your kids by letting them do the same. Thanks to the menthol in JOHNSONS® Baby Soothing Vapor Bath, stuffy noses can get some relief. Put everyone to bed on time. Feed everyone healthy foods. These things can help reduce the chance of getting sick.

5. Throw it out!
Switch to paper cups and paper plates for the week. Believe it or not, germs are spread by sharing towels or cups, so make that almost impossible by giving kids throw-away products. Plus, it lowers the chance of someone else finding it on the counter and using it.

6. Clean!
Clean and disinfect the home, including those hard-to-reach spots! Be sure to wipe off countertops, door knobs, light switches, handles and other things that are touched often.

7. Get plenty of rest, drink water and just take care of yourself.  You’ll be feeling better in no time!


Becky Mansfield is a paid spokesperson for the HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® Program.

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