From a runny nose and irritating cough to a sore throat and fever (or worse), a case of the common cold is sure to make your life miserable for a few days. The worst part is that, in a month, it can happen all over again. Practice strategies to prevent the common cold and stay healthy year-round.
Wash your hands frequently. Washing your hands in the most preventable way of contracting the cold or flu virus. Scrub your hands with soap and water before eating, and before and after using the bathroom. To wash your hands, follow these instructions:
- Wet your hands with warm or cold water.
- Apply soap to your hands.
- Rub your hands to lather them together. Scrub everywhere. Do not forget to scrub under your fingernails, between your fingers, and the backs of your hands.
- Scrub for at least 20 seconds. Singing “Happy Birthday” is a quick way to remember how long.
- Rinse your hands with clean water.
- Shut off the tap with a paper towel so you do not contaminate your hands again.
- Use a paper towel to open the door of a public bathroom.
Use hand sanitizer if you don’t have soap. Washing your hands is the best way to keep them clean. But if you do not have soap and water available, you can use a 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- If your hands are visibly dirty, it’s best to use soap and water.
Keep your hands away from your face. Don't rub your eyes, nostrils, or ears if your hands aren't clean. Spreading germs from your hands to your face can lead to infection.
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