It's the season to wage war against colds and flu. This winter, being well prepared is key to keeping your family healthy.
It's the season to wage war against colds and flu. This winter, being well prepared is key to keeping your family healthy.

Dettol presents some tips to keep the coughs and sniffles away this winter:

Wash your hands: The most effective way to stop the spread of diseases is by washing your hands with soap. Lather your hands for at least 20 seconds, before rinsing and drying your hands thoroughly – preferably with disposable paper towels or by air-drying them. Regular handwashing – before and after handling food, before eating, and after coughing, sneezing or using the toilet – helps prevent you from picking up colds and flu. It also helps prevent illnesses such as hepatitis and other viruses. If you can’t find a place to wash your hands, use waterless hand sanitiser.

Disinfect: Keep your kitchen clean  and a your kitchen chopping boards, kitchen counters, kitchen sinks and dish sponges.4 Remember, pets’ bowls and shopping bags can also be germ hotspots. Disinfecting your bathroom sink and the bath tub is a good idea too, especially after someone in your family has been ill.

Use a moisturising disinfectant or soap for baths: The skin is an important barrier against germs and keeping it in great condition not only looks good, it protects you from infection and illness.

Keep hygiene wipes in your bag: Carry a pack of disinfectant wipes and use these to clean frequently handled surfaces.
Some of the germiest surfaces are:

Cellphones;
Laptops;
Computer keyboards;
Door knobs and door handles; and
remote controls.

These surfaces can accumulate a large amount of potentially dangerous bacteria. Occasionally wiping them down with disinfectant will keep these from infecting you and your family. If you go to the gym, wipe down equipment before you use it.

Hydrate, eat well and exercise regularly: Water is important for every physiological process in your body. When dehydrated, your body can’t fight illness like it should. Nutrients such as vitamin C and zinc7 help to boost the immune system, as does regular exercise.8 It’s best to get your vitamins and minerals from actual food rather than taking supplements alone9 – so load up on fruits, especially citrus fruits, vegetables and nuts.
Flu-fighting foods:10

Mushrooms;
Garlic;
Kiwi;
Pumpkin seeds; and
plain yogurt
 
Good night, sleep tight: Getting enough sleep has been shown to keep the immune system at its best. Infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don’t get enough sleep.11 Train your children to bath at a regular time for good hygiene, and before bedtime to keep them well rested.