Tis the season to start feeling a little under the weather. Flu warnings are making the news, the weather is changing, and that little scratchy tickle at the back of your throat is waking up.
If you think you get sick more often now that you’re a parent, you’re not wrong. The average adult gets a cold 1 or 2 times a year. The average child gets a cold 6 to 10 times a year.
Place those young, chubby faced, drooling, vectors of disease in your home and guess what? Your chances of getting sick go up. And the new gets better. According to David Proud, a researcher at the University of Calgary, just because you get a virus once doesn’t mean you’re inoculated against getting it again.
Children have developing immune systems, so they’re more susceptible to different diseases. Toss in the tactile, social environments they are in every day and it’s easy to see how viruses can pass between kids and .. get brought home. The best part is they’re constantly bringing home different things that you might not have lifelong immunity to.
So your kid passes the cold to you, you pass it back, they pass it to a classmate, it goes around, and comes back to your child, and then back into your home to knock you on your butt all over again.
The best thing you can do to fight a cold is to not get one in the first place.
If you want the best chance to NOT get sick this season, you need to make sure you exercise, wash your hands, get a good night’s sleep, and eat a healthy diet.
Do all these things and you will keep your immune system as robust and strong as you can. But, as any parent will tell you, there’s still a chance we could pick up something from our kids. What then?
According to Proud, you have two options: rest and relax and be done with it in seven days, or pump it full of everything you can find and be over it in a week.
In other words, there’s not much you can do. From chicken soup to wearing wet socks to bed, most of the remedies that are bandied about might make you feel like you’re fighting things, but haven’t been scientifically proven to have any considerable effect.
If you don’t want to have a cold, keep yourself as tough as you can (or don’t hang out around kids) – that’s basically all you can do. Since I’m around those kids who are around other kids, who touch everything, touch each other, and then touch me .. I’m toughening up.
Now who wants to go for a run?