Featured Editorial

3 Simple Mistakes That Keep You Sick During Cold and Flu Season

My third-grader never, ever tosses his tissues into the trash can. Notorious for taking a tissue from the box to clean out his yucky nose or half-way blow his runny nose, I find joy in no longer wiping (or scraping) disgusting boogies off of the walls. We've made marked improvements, now that tissues are involved in the process. Accomplishing the feat of having these used and discarded tissues into the trash is a work in progress. During a recent weekend where I was home alone like Macaulay Culkin, I was more than surprised to find myself sneezing and sniffling after 48 hours without human contact. How in the world was this even possible? Between nose blows, I really struggled to find answers, before realizing that it was my own fault that I had a cold. How is it possible to contaminate yourself with germs? It was a simple mistake. Have you ever made any of these three simple mistakes that will keep you sick during cold and flu season?

3 Simple Mistakes That Keep You Sick During Cold and Flu Season

Of course, it was by no means intentional that I ended up with a cold from seemingly nowhere. My thrifty choices led up to this moment. No, I didn't skimp on vitamins, choosing to save pennies with an off-brand orange juice. My actions were even less intentional than buying a bargain brand. My green living, mom-brain decided that it would be a perfectly logical decision to blow my nose with one of the many displaced tissues my son had strewn about the house. 

That was my huge, little mistake that resulted in a "Mom Down" distress call. As I went about the process of cleaning and organizing our home, bouncy little dust bunnies arose to greet me from beneath beds and the living room sectional, causing me to sneeze. What did I do? I picked up one of the tissues my son was kind enough to save on the sofa. Why did I chose to use this boogie tissue? I didn't think, I simply made the mistake of grabbing the first available tissue. Unfortunately for me, this was not a fresh tissue from the tissue box, it was a surprisingly convenient, slightly used, like new condition tissue.

Mistake #1 - "Two-Go" Tissues

It's so common to think that after sneezing into a tissue, you'll just tuck the tissue away into your pocket or purse for the next sneeze, cough, or runny nose episode. Always toss used tissues away into a lined trash can for disposal to avoid spreading germs to those around you or other surfaces. Remember to promptly disinfect common areas in contact with lurking germs including tabletops, your cell phone, computer, remotes, and door knobs.

Mistake #2 - Hands Up

Avoid the temptation to wipe away at your nose or even tears with the back of your hands. (I may or may not be speaking directly to my offspring.) Let's build upon Mistake #1 and use a tissue, only once, before tossing it far, far away. Making the mistake of absentmindedly putting your hands near your mucous membranes in your eyes, nose, mouth, or even ears risks the likelihood of transferring contagious germs from person-to-person. Keep those hands clean after sneezing, coughing, or blowing noses by washing with warm, soapy water for at least 15 seconds.

Mistake #3 - Hot Stuff

I'm always freezing cold by nature. It would only seem logical to blast the heat on max level to keep our home warm and toasty. Well, first let's be real, it's too expensive of a mistake to even attempt to keep our hose warm enough for me to be comfy. Secondly, the hot, dry air form heating systems is highly likely to dry out your nose, eyes, mouth, and skin. Better choice- dress warm by layering up in comfortable clothing and using a humidifier to keep soothing moisture in the air to keep healthy during cold and flu season.

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