The time of the great sneeze is upon us, and the entire nation is about to sink beneath an ocean of duvets and hot Vimto.
Inevitably, each household will be reduced to an incubator for germs and scrunched up tissues. ‘Tis the season to be snotty indeed.
New research commissioned by Olbas has found how seven out of ten parents feel they have passed a cold onto their kids. Interestingly, for reasons left unexplained, dads were found to be more culpable than mums on this account.
The study examined 2,000 mums and dads with children aged between three and sixteen. It was found nasty winter bugs led to missed days at work, school and nursery, as well as to parents spending less time cuddling their kids.
Sadly, it was found almost half of parents avoid physical contact with their children in a bid to avoid catching colds and viruses.
One fifth of children were found to rarely – or even never – cover their mouths while sneezing; spreading gruesome germs like wildfire as a result.
Among kids who do actually bother to cover their mouths, 43 per cent sneeze straight into their palms, meaning bacteria can be spread through shared items such as toys and books.
Olbas expert and GP Dr Roger Henderson explained:
Children can catch colds from siblings, parents, other family members, and playmates – and there are definite trends depending on the child’s age and lifestyle.
In general, children with older siblings and those who attend nursery seem to have more colds than older children.
Children get fewer colds as they get older and usually by the time they start school, children who attended pre-school day-care will have fewer colds than children who did not because of their exposure to the cold virus.
It can take an average British family a full two whole weeks before each member has caught and recovered from the gross and irritating symptoms of the common cold.
Children are likely to have more frequent colds than their mums and dads. Younger kids will experience approximately four colds annually, while the average adult will suffer their way through ‘just’ three.
Dr Henderson continued:
If you want to avoid contracting – or spreading – a cold, strict hand hygiene is crucial.
Sneeze into a disposable tissue and throw it away, wash your hands regularly or use sanitizing gel, avoid intimate contact, and when you do wash your hands, do it thoroughly.
Use soap and water and scrub for a minimum of 20 seconds. When you’re not near a sink, a hand sanitizer that’s at least 60 per cent alcohol is a good substitute.
When the dreaded family cold does strike, using a gentle yet effective Olbas decongestant can help soothe stuffy noses and offer relief to families across the UK.
So far I have managed to keep the winter cold at bay, but I know it’s only a matter of time before I’m rocking a peeling red nose once again…
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.