Avoid Catching Colds from Your Kids

Don't catch colds from your kidsWhen kids go back to school, they bring home homework, artwork…and germs. And there is nothing worse than nursing a sick family while you're feeling under the weather. Dr. Nicole Nourmand talks with Away We Grow host Diane Mizota about keeping germs at bay.

Sometimes it can feel like children rebound much faster than adults when it comes to colds. Dr. Nourmand explains, "I think that women take care of everybody but themselves. And if we don't sleep, if we don't exercise, if we don't eat right, then we're run down. When you don't rest, your immune system isn't able to fight off viruses the way it normally would."

Related: 5 ways to boost your immune system naturally

Exercise can help boost your immune system in many cases. "High cortisol--or the high stress hormone--compromises your immune system. So if you're doing some cardiovascular activity, you're decreasing that stress hormone, and that's going to boost your immune system," says Dr. Nourmand. She adds, however, that depending on how ill you feel, you may just need to sleep.

Related: Dodge a cold with exercise

Of course, busy parents know that sleep, rest, and exercise can be hard to come by. Dr. Nourmand says that one of the most important things you can do is to get a flu shot. She also recommends regular checkups to stay healthy.

In addition, wash your hands often. Dr. Nourmand recommends washing for 20 to 30 seconds with warm water, making sure you work up a decent lather. She says that alcohol wipes can be very effective, but "if you can see visible dirt, you should use warm, soapy water." She adds, "Our hands harbor a lot of viruses. We touch surfaces, doorknobs, computers, and the phone. So it's really important not just to wash your hands, but also to wipe down surfaces."

And finally, some kids are being taught what host Diane Mizota refers to as "the Dracula method" of coughing and sneezing into their arms. Dr. Nourmand agrees that this method can help contain germs. "If you have your kids coughing or sneezing into their hands, they're probably not going to wash them right away--and then they're going to touch everything," she says. "So I think this is a very helpful way to teach your child to contain their germs."

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