There are a lot of sayings and beliefs about our health in winter. Some of it’s true and some isn’t.
1) Getting wet/cold makes you sick.2) Togetherness increases the risks of catching something.3) Never go barefoot in winter.4) Wash your hands frequently.5) Wipe down shopping carts.6) You’re only contagious if you show symptoms7) Echinacea will prevent illness.8) Don’t touch your face with your hands.9) Heaters can cause dry skin.10) The flu virus can stay viable for up to twenty-four hours.
Well, let’s see how you did.
1) False. It can lower your resistance, but it does not make you sick.2) True. The reason we tend to get sick more often in winter has to do with being around others. The more people in the same area, the more likely it is that someone in the group is ill and will spread it to others.3) Both. Like cold, going barefoot cannot by itself cause illness. In some people, it can lower resistance. If you go barefoot outside in the snow, you also stand a good chance of frostbite.4) True: Frequent hand washing can help prevent viruses or bacteria from entering your body. Soap and hot water can kill the bugs before they get inside.5) True: You don’t know who handled that shopping cart last. Many illnesses can be spread via touch, so a quick wipe down with those convenient wipes is a good idea. You may also want to wash any produce you bring home. Again, you don’t know who touched it last.6) False. With the flu, you may be contagious for up to twenty-four hours prior to any symptoms. You may also still have residual symptoms and no longer be contagious.7) False. Echinacea may act as an immune booster, but it will not prevent all illnesses. It also needs to be respected. Taking it continuously could mess up your immune system. The longest period of time it’s considered safe is two weeks, though a shorter time period is preferred.8) True. Cold and flu viruses usually enter the body through the eyes, ears, nose or mouth. Touching something contaminated with your hands and then touching any of those orifices will likely result in you getting sick.9) True. If you get dry skin in the winter, chances are good it’s your heater. If you live in Southern California, you may want to add Santa Ana conditions to the list of things that cause dry skin.10) True. How long it stays viable depends on what it’s on. For a hard surface, such as a shopping cart, that can mean forty-eight hours. Softer surfaces tend to be shorter.
Did you get all ten? If not, hopefully this information will help you and your family stay healthy this winter.