Keeping colds and flus from spreading to others

Well it is only the second day of winter and already in autumn we have had our fair share of sickness in our home. Generally we find that it doesnt spread to other family members and only one person cops it. (however this time, most of us got it, just to break the cycle and make this post void haha) I had a friend ask me how we manage to do that... I thought about it and most of it is common sense but when you, or someone else in the household feels like death, its good to have a little reminder of the things you can be doing to not pass it on. So here you go:

Its all about hygeine and good nutrition.

This list is by no means exhaustive, but my favourites to prevent colds and flu's from spreading to other family members:

1. Hand washing.
As basic as it is, it can be forgotten. Especially you Mum! Wash those hands constantly. Administered some medicine? Wash hands. Cleaned out spew bucket? Wash hands. Been cuddling the sickie? Wash hands. About to prep food or even pour a drink? Wash hands. Be a hand-washing freak. It really does help! Also make sure other family members (including babies) have their hands cleaned before eating anything.

2. Cup isolation.
The sick person must be allocated their own special cup. This is not negotiable. Especially if you are a "use more than once" family (less dishes) because a simple rinse with hot water between drinks wont stop the nasties from spreading if someone picks up the wrong cup. We have a batman glass the adults use and a green plastic cup for the kids. (Green because like in the movies when cartoon characters turn green when they are sick. Makes it easy for them to remember that it is the unwell persons cup ). This will really help stop the spreading of germs and can be a silent culprit when you have done everything you know to do and others still get sick. So make sure you have a "sick cup" or "sick glass" in the house. Distinctly different to everyone elses.Put all Cutlery and plates straight into sink or dishwasher and wipe the table down after use.

3. Limit Close contact
Im terrible for this. When my kids are sick I sometimes share a bed with them, cuddle their faces off and just hope and pray that I stay well. So im not suggesting you deprive your precious feverish children some good ol' fashioned affection. But be smart about it. No kisses or close faces. You can hug a child with their head facing down a bit on your chest, or facing away from you. You can sleep with your back turned to one another etc. And if its you or Daddy who are sick, limit cuddles  as much as possible. No kisses at all.

4. Be diligent to clean sick-stuff
You know, change pillowcases daily, empty and disinfect spew buckets, open windows to sick persons bedroom when possible (during the day if they can lay on the couch you can air off their room), things like that.

5. Vitamin C or even better ELDERBERRY SYRUP
 If you have someone who hates the taste of vitamin C or cant chew/swallow them without feeling sick,  the next best thing is orange juice/mandarins/veggies packed with vitamin C. In fact absorption of any vitamin is almost always better from natural sources over a tablet. But Elderberry Syrup is by far, the very best natural defense I have ever encountered. Unfortunately, it is quite expensive, so far I have not found it for what I deem to be a reasonable price. So if its not an option to buy it, stick to vitamin C
Here is the brand we use, and wow does it work! Hubby used to catch EVERYTHING and now, he catches nothing! Id be open to trying other brands, this just seems to be the one that is readily available to us. Perhaps try a health food store for other options. You can take it as a preventative, and then if you feel something coming on, or have been around sick people, up your dosage to keep nasties at bay. This stuff is amazing and I highly recommend it!!

5. Hearty meals
Good veggie packed meals are not only just for the sick family member, but help the well ones, stay that way. Immunity is boosted when everyone is eating good meals. I keep a batch of Chicken Soup in the freezer on standby and I know the remedy of a good chicken soup is probably just a mind thing... but, when you think about it, a decent chook soup not only warms and comforts, it also is packed with veg and protein and is easy to eat when your not even hungry. I make a giant batch so that the family can have it for lunch as well for a few days and freeze some some for next time too!
If you dont have a decent recipe check out mine. Its our italian family recipe, and it must be good, coz it won a winter recipe competition which I won a Magmix food processor from! (Thanks Nonna!)

Of course soup isnt the only option. There are many other good meals. The idea is to not slack off in the food department and just get takeaway. Unless of course its you who is sick. In which case call in a favour from a friend, or have a freezer stash of 3 or 4 days worth of good dinners for sick weeks.

Then lastly but not least, there are the usual remedies to shorten a flu/cold. Honey and lemon tea, ginger and so on. Ive also been told that placing an onion in the bedroom cut in half absorbs the germs. (throw it out in the morning) you can place one in everyones rooms I know people who swear by it. I couldn't stand the smell personally but do give it a go if you like! Not to mention, apparently pineapple juice, is way more effective at helping you to stop coughing than cough syrup is! Because of a certain anti-inflamatory enzyme found in pineapples. I will be trying that one out!

So it may be all common sense, but its worth re-visiting to keep us on the defense.
Let's face it, sometimes no matter what you do... one person gets better and suddenly another soldier goes down. But keeping diligent with hygeine and nutrition absolutely makes a big difference. Please share in the comments all your tips and remedies that are tried, tested and true in your household!

Stay well, keep warm and God bless you everyone!

Curly Mumma