Top tips for preventing illness
After being wiped out for the last week by a particularly voracious sickness bug Jack brought home from nursery, I thought this would be a good time to share my top tips for keeping the bugs at bay (or at least trying to).
We’ve all seen the adverts promoting the benefits of good bacteria but did you know it is important that we are exposed to bad bacteria? It is unhealthy for us to over clean and wipe out all bacteria from our homes before becoming immune to them. This is especially important in children who are developing their immune system, a few coughs and colds are good for them. However too much bacteria is bad news, it is all about finding a balance and you can achieve that balance through simple everyday steps.
- While we all want to be green and wash at 40 degrees we occasionally need to wash our clothes at 60 to kill the bacteria our clothes collect. This is particularly important after an illness in the house, for items such as underwear and towels and of course bedding.
- Wash your hands after using the bathroom or touching animals and before preparing food. Dont forget to teach little ones how to properly wash their hands.
- When cooking food keep any utensils used to prepare raw meat or fish separate from those used to prepare other foods.
- Make sure food is cooked through and foods that need to be refrigerated are chilled properly to stop the spread of bacteria. Keep cold foods cold (below 40oC) and hot foods hot (above 57oC).
- Eat well – we all love the odd treat but fruit and veg ( especially those high in vitamins A, B, C, and E) provide your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to stay healthy. Include foods high in calcium (milk, yogurt, tofu, cheese, broccoli); potassium (bananas, baked potatoes, raisins, grapes); zinc and protein (lamb chops and other red meats, seafood, peanut butter, chicken); and magnesium (brown rice, whole-wheat bagels, pastas, milk, yogurt, nuts, and seeds).
- Keep active – you don’t have to run a marathon but keeping active throughout the day helps to keep you fit and healthy and enable you to fit in that slinky pair of jeans.
- Get outside – Research shows that spending time outside can promote better sleep, boost overall wellness, and may improve your mood, helping to bust those winter blues.
- As difficult as it is in the modern world, try to cut out stress and get at least 8 hours sleep a night. Too much stress and too little sleep leaves us feeling run down and open to illness.
- Wipe down bathroom and kitchen sinks, the bath and shower and toilet with an anti bacterial cleaner weekly, or more frequently if someone in the house is ill.
- Before going to bed pop some bleach down the loo, this will kill any bacteria and leave your loo smelling fresh.
And most importantly remember we can’t guide against all germs and as I said earlier, a little sniffle never hurt anyone.