|Nights are drawing in, the clocks go back this weekend and the shops are already packed with thermals. Winter needn’t bring with it the usual coughs and sneezes. Before it gets too cold, remember these good practices to keep colds at bay this winter:
1. A sneeze can send 100,000 virus-containing droplets into the air – you only need one to 30 particles to be infected – and the cold virus can survive on a doorknob or TV control or handrail for 48 hours. Make sure you are regularly cleaning surfaces, hand towels and your car steering wheel as these are common places that we come in to contact with germs that make us ill.
Dress in plenty of layers and make sure you have warm shoes or boots with non-slip soles.
2. Keep simple cold, flu and sore throat remedies in the house.
3. The advice you’ve probably heard dozens of times from your doctor: wash your hands throughout the day, it really does prevent infections,
Warm water and soap will kill the germs, but be sure you don’t rush. “I try to wash for 20 seconds — sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to myself twice,” says Nancy Hughes, director of the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health. She’s also careful after she washes; use a paper towel to turn off the tap in public bathrooms.