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Readers Respond: Your Ideas for Avoiding Cold and Flu Germs

Responses: 16


Updated April 15, 2009

No one can avoid colds and the flu all the time, but you can do many things to cut down on the number of illnesses you get. The number one way to cut down on the spread of germs is to wash your hands. But you can try many other measures as well. Do you have some ideas you would like to share? We aren't looking for medication-related ideas, just ideas that we can all use to help avoid those pesky cold and flu germs.


I agree with Guest Lynne - stay away from sick people if you can and if you've the nerve, ban the from your house. Unfortunately, the members of this family seem to think it's great to share, so as soon as they have a cold or feel poorly, they MUST come and share it - sadly, they live only only a few yards away so it's not as thought they've got far to travel. I stay away from the as much as possible, but when it's a new member... its hard :{and that's how I came to be in the state I'm in now! :/ ) I do take zinc and vit C when I start to feel weird, and it usually works, but sometimes the germ is stronger. This one's really nasty, can't eat, can't sleep, and the cough can't decide if it's tickly or chesty. Oh joy....
—Guest Julie

Mouth Wash

Mix Peroxide and Mouth wash half & half in a spray bottle, and gargle 1-2 times per day every day. This will keep the germs out of your system all year long. Doctor approved!
—Guest Foxygrandma

Care, don't share

NEVER drink after anyone, sick or not. You never know when your body is carrying the cold or flu bug. Make it a practice to never drink after your children or anyone else.
—Guest South todd IA

clean your bathroom

I use a bleach disinfectant and i use that all over my bathroom and let it set and kill the germs for a while on surfaces that won't be wrecked and so far it seems to work!
—Guest Bailey

cold flu

1.keep the environment clean. 2.wash hands before eating. 3.keep utensils clean after using 4.cover all eating things 5.wash our mouth and hands many time a day 6.increase our immune power by eating healthy and simple food.7.cover nose before sneezing.
—Guest kamran khalid

avoid mass foods

I avoid putting my hands into big bowls of chips, popcorn, etc. and if I see someone double dip in the onion dip, I avoid the dip at all costs!
—Guest aboutstacey

Lots and Lots of Hand Sanitizer

I always carry a bottle of hand sanitizer in my purse and make my kids sanitize their hands before we eat out at a restaurant. Also, when people come over for a party I avoid large bowls of chips or other snacks that everyone puts their hands into.

Smiles Not Handshakes and Hugs

Since you can't always tell who is sick or has been around sick people recently I avoid physical contact during the cold and flu season. No handshakes or hugs if it can be avoided. But I don't want to appear unfriendly so I give lots of smiles, waves, and other friendly gestures. To keep people from taking it personally I may say something about it being cold & flu season and I don't want to unknowingly pass around any germs -- said with a smile of course. It works 99% of the time. A few people take offense at not being able to grab you and slobber on your cheek whenever they want but I try to avoid them even when there's not anything going around!!! LOL
—Guest Tammy

Fresh Air and Clean Sheets

When someone in the house gets sick or when we notice friends we spend time with getting sick I make sure we all get plenty of fresh air -- instead of having us all breathing the same stale "sick" air. During nice weather -- easy. During bad/cold weather I might have to remind everyone to take a break on the porch or open up a window now then. We also make sure everyone is sleeping on clean fresh sheets including the person who is sick (if a family member) -- change their sheets and pillowcases daily. Along with other usual things like handwashing, etc. this helps to keep the cold/flu from passing through to everyone in the family.
—Guest MaryDiane


I'm one of those crazy people would avoid door knobs, shopping cart handles and anything in the like as much as I can. I always wear my sleeves over my hands when I can in the winter and fall. In the spring and summer, I just avoid them as much as possible. I carry my own bag shopping and no one has yet to tell me that I can't use it. I also carry along my own pen and NEVER use the ones at the check out lane. I also use my pen to push in my pin code for debit purchases.
—Guest Kyra

Sanitize, Sanitize, Sanitize

I care for a 93 year old and my DH and I are always paranoid that he will get sick. We stay home more during the winter and we keep sanitizing wipes and solution with us at all times. We also quarantine ourselves from him if we get sick. (He is actually very healthy and gets sick less than we do!)
—Guest Connie G.

Hydrogen Peroxide

If my whole family is sick and I don't want to get it (or if I feel like it's just starting to get me, but hasn't quite taken hold yet), I use Hydrogen Peroxide. I gargle with it a couple times a day. I also use a bulb syringe to put some in each of my ears while lying down. I let it sit in each of my ears for a few minutes. It may sound weird, but clearing out the ears makes a difference for me. I will also drink immune support tea (usually with echinacea and golden seal) and suck on zinc lozenges. Oh, and don't forget using a sterile saline spray in my nose when I take my shower. Every little bit helps. I have such a crazy-busy life, I really can't afford to be sick.
—Guest Natalie

Wash hands, but more important, sleep!

Of course, washing hands before eating (and after being around sick people!) is important. But I've found that staying well rested will help me avoid getting sick. If I have a few days where I don't sleep, I'm bound to get sick. Getting sleep is my number 1 way to avoid cold and flu.
—Guest Anne

Restaurant washups

Since my kids were little, we have emphasized the importance of hand-washing, both at home and when we eat out. Before we take a seat at the table in a restaurant, we all tromp off to the restrooms for a full soap-and-water handwashing, careful to use the paper towel to open the door on the way out. I am always amazed at 1) how many people don't wash hands before eating in a restaurant and 2) people who don't wash their hands before leaving the restroom. ewwww!
—Guest Lotsie

Stay Away From Sick People, and Wash!

I, too, got into the habit of checking to be sure that everyone is healthy before we get together with people. We also carry hand sanitizer everywhere we go (I have a purse-sized bottle), and wash hands when we can. Just doing those few things, we don't get sick very often at all!
—Guest Elizabeth

Say No to Sick Visitors

We are careful to take a raincheck with friends and stay home if we have flu-like symptoms, but not everyone is so considerate - or perhaps they are just ignorant about how these germs spread. We have learned to say no to friends who wish to visit when they are fighting the flu bug - even when they insist THEY don't feel too bad. After a few episodes of not speaking up (and later feeling resentful of the sick person for passing on their plight to my children), I no longer feel guilty cancelling a party. And if I start to, I remind the sick person that staying home will help them recover faster, and, if they still insist, I insist that I would feel responsible if they got sicker and therefore I need to make a raincheck...
—Guest Lynne

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