It’s officially Winter and every second person I bumped into this past week is recovering from some sort of cold or flu – and I am no exception.
I was quite surprised to find out that the biggest risk factor for catching the common cold is having children under the age 12. This is according to Pharma Dynamics, leading colds and flu generic medicine provider.
This puts me at massive risk!!!
According to Mariska van Aswegen, spokesperson for Pharma Dynamics, parents fall ill almost twice as much as anyone else.
“Young children are a reservoir of germs and if they’re at crèche, school or anyplace else where they are around other children, they’re in a super-virus environment, which makes them the perfect vectors for illness and for passing viruses around. Kids hug, touch and cough all over each other. They chew on toys and as a result share their saliva, and then parents hug, kiss and cuddle them. It’s no wonder that the average parent catches a cold more compared to those without children,” she says.
Pharma Dynamics statement is backed up by a recent study conducted by the University of Utah’s School of Medicine. They found that families with two, three or four children have some type of virus present in their household just under 60% of the time, whereas childless households were only infected with viruses three to four weeks of the year.
Each additional child in a household increased a family member’s risk of falling ill. Households with one child tested positive about 18 weeks of the year, while families with more than four children tested positive about 45 weeks of the year – that’s a whopping 87% of the time.
Van Aswegen adds that parents who live with small children are 1.5 times more likely to be sick since children under the age of five tend to have at least one virus present in their mucus 50% of the time.
So how can we fight off the spread of these nasty germs?
- Besides eating your greens, getting enough sleep is a critical factor in fighting off colds and flu
- Keeping a clean and dust-free house will help prevent the spread of germs
- Parents may also benefit from supplements that can boost the immune system. Look for one’s that contain Vitamin C, zinc and Echinacea, which when used in combination are excellent at combating colds and flu, such as Efferflu C Immune Booster.
“Once a child starts to develop a functioning immune system, at about six months, then the exposure to general viruses and germs isn’t necessarily a bad thing since it helps build and stimulate the immune system. It’s important to remember that a child’s immune system will only be fully developed between 12 to 14 years of age, when they finally reach adult levels of antibody formation, so you may be in for a tough few years, but as the children grow up it will help them fight other infections and stay healthier in the long-run,” says van Aswegen.
Looks like I’m going to need to stock up on some Vitamin C!
P.S – Have you entered the Competition to win a copy of Alyssa’s favourite book yet? If you haven’t, there is still time. You can enter here.