Wash your hands! Did you wash your hands? OK, time for everyone to wash hands.
Do those words come out of your mouth multiple times a day? They do from mine. I come from a family full of allergies and asthma. I, myself, have allergies and asthma and both of my kids have asthma. So, for us, a common cold usually turns into bronchitis or a sinus infection. And, believe me, those are no fun. Since I have no desire to be sick for 2 weeks or to have sick kids to take care of, we take precautions in our family to minimize our germ exposure.
What practices do we employ?
1) Wash, wash, wash. Obviously we've taught our kids to wash their hands after going to the bathroom (although David has to be reminded of that frequently - he is a 6 year old boy, you know). We also send everyone to the bathroom to wash before dinner nightly and before lunch on the weekends. (Lunch during the week is at school for the kids and at work for Tim. I don't know if they wash there. Hopefully they do. I wash here.) But not only do we send them to wash, we teach them to wash. We have taken the time to teach them about all the nooks and crannies in their hands that they need to wash - in between their fingers, all the way up to their wrists, fingernails, etc. I firmly believe that a little time spent up front teaching your children the right way to do something really pays off in the long run.
I also have my kids wash their hands when they get home from school and church. They are around so many other children in both of those places that I just know they are full of germs.
2) Shots. First of all, let me say that I'm whole-heartedly in agreement with vaccines. I know there are a lot of people out there against them and that's fine. You're welcome to your opinion; but for my family, vaccines are the way to go. In 2007 my dad got the whooping cough from traveling internationally. He got sick and was fully contagious during a week that we spent at the beach with him. Tim and I both tested positive for being exposed to the virus, so we know our family had the potential to get it. We immediately got booster DTaP shots and didn't get sick. Our children also stayed healthy because they had been vaccinated against the whooping cough (pertussis) as babies. David was just 2 at the time. Since we are very prone to catching things that are going around, I'm fully convinced that if my kids had not been vaccinated, they would have caught pertussis. And pertussis in children that young is very serious, potentially deadly. For that experience alone, I am an advocate of vaccinations.
Not only do we vaccinate for the "big" things, we vaccinate yearly for the flu. Luckily, my children are able to take the flu mist and they don't have to endure the shot. They complain about the bad taste after the mist, but it sure beats the pain of the shot (I would know since I get the shot every year). Even my husband gets the flu vaccine even though he hardly ever gets sick. He just loves us that much!
3) Last but not least, we take daily vitamins. I have to admit I get the name brand Flintstones ones because they taste better and I know there won't be any fights about taking them. I also get the immune fighting version that had extra vitamin C. I don't know if the vitamins really help them stay healthy, but I don't think they hurt either.
Sickness is bound to happen, but anything I can do to slow it down at my house is worth it!
What about you? How do you combat germs and viruses?
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