Prevention is the first-rate measure to escape common cold

  • By Ananthavalli Ananthan

Common colds arrive frequently in a year

You may catch cold many times in a year, nevertheless, children are more vulnerable. Dominating itself chiefly in winter and rainy seasons, cold is a viral infection that invades the lining of nose, sinuses, and throat. There are about 200 viruses, of which rhinovirus is the main perpetrator to blame. Classical symptoms are headache, runny nose, sore throat, sneezing, and cough. In the initial days, you may have scratchy throat and discomfort that will aggravate later to sneezing, runny nose, and even cough. Whenever you catch cold, your defense system wars against the viruses which is why you may feel tired and miserable. Sometimes mild fever may show up but it is almost limited to young children. At the end, the watery secretions from the nose become fewer, thicker, opaque, and yellow or green in color. Symptoms often settle down within 7-10 days.

Common cold is the triggerman to blame for adults and children to take a leave from form office or school.

Cold is most contagious during the first week of illness. The probability of you catching cold surges when you touch your nose, eyes, or mouth after you have touched objects contaminated by the virus, such as a toy or doorknob. Getting close with an infected person like shaking hands or inhaling the infected air may also lead you to cold.

Although a common cold is usually harmless, you may not feel the same if you are under cold. However, taking some natural preventive measures and boosting your immune system can drastically help you to stay away from cold. You can include the following measures in your daily routine to stay healthy.

Hand-washing, the best measure of all

Always keep your hands germ-free. Regular scrubbing of hands with soap for at least 20 minutes and then rinsing with water will get rid of viruses and bacteria. You should also teach your child to do the same. Hand-washing is recommended before eating or preparing meals, after using public restrooms or bathroom at home, sneezing or coughing, and coming home from work or school. If soap and water are not available, then 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizers work well to kill bugs.

Scrub off the household objects

It’s not the dirt but the lingering invisible germs that makes you ill. By disinfecting the environment regularly, you can eradicate the germs. Clean the common germ hotspots like doorknobs, faucet handles, toys of kids, telephones, kitchen, and bathroom countertops, sleeping mats.

Use tissues when you sneeze or cough

You must invariably elect tissues while sneezing and coughing and dispose them off before washing your hands to avoid spreading of germs. If a tissue is not available, then you can cover your mouth into the bend of your elbow while sneezing or coughing.

Don’t share if you are sick

If you have cold, then you better avoid close contact with other people at home. Stay at home till you get well. Move away from others when you sneeze or cough and always wash your hands well after each bouts of sneeze or cough.

Eat and sleep well

Sticking to healthy foods every day and achieving a good amount of sleep helps your body to build-up a strong immune system. Consume plenty of fluids and foods rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and zinc. These elements provide a rejuvenated immunity to beat off a cold. Fresh fruits and vegetables offer a wide array of nutrients that have immune boosting power. Additionally eating yoghurt filled with probiotic cultures is found to prevent cold in children.

Exercise regularly

Physical activity increases body circulation keeping your energy up and stress levels down. Increased blood flow is a sense of strong heart and effective defense system that is ready to fight against any infection.

Avoid smoking and drinking

Smoking and alcohol intake reduces your body’s immune mechanism and makes you receptive to active infections.