On Tuesday, I was minding my own business at work when I got a call on my mobile to tell me Pierre was not very well and I had to go and collect him from school. He had a slight cold and a tummy ache and was running a bit of a fever. I took him home, gave him some paracetamol solution, popped him into his pyjamas with a DVD and he seemed reasonable. Wednesday was my day off so I kept him home and headed to the doctor's to get a "sick child" certificate for my work. When I got home, I'd missed a call ... from Sophie's school asking me to go and pick her up because she wasn't feeling well. Aaagghh ! I hope everyone is feeling fighting fit in time for Christmas !
This sudden bout of sickness meant that I took extra notice of a press release that popped into my inbox this week revealing that, according to new research by Boots UK, mums could gain five extra days this winter if they took steps to protect themselves from cold and flu. Last winter 62% of mums had up to three colds, resulting in an average of five days being lost to feeling under the weather with the sniffles. The research highlights that we are a nation resigned to coming down with a cold with 55% of mums admitting they do not do anything to help prevent getting a cold or the flu in the first place and 75% believing catching a cold or flu is an inevitability of the winter season. Only a third (32%) have had a winter flu vaccination to try and keep themselves protected from flu during the winter. I must admit, I've just started to get a slightly runny nose and my throat is hurting a bit and my only reaction has been to eat more oranges !
Deepa Songara, Boots UK flu pharmacist says: “During the winter months, as we spend more time inside, it is easy for cold and flu germs to be passed from one person to another. This is especially true for mums as the research found that on average, they interact with 11 different people each day so it is important they take steps to stay well this winter – not only to protect themselves but also to help prevent other members of their family catching their cold or flu.” Over half of mums surveyed (51%) thought that they had caught their cold from their child, a third (33%) believed their colleagues were responsible and 29% believe they passed their germs onto other members of their family. I've been telling off the kids at school - we're talking 11-year-olds here - on a daily basis for coughing and sneezing without putting their hands in front of their mouths so I blame them !
Deepa Songara, Boots flu pharmacist continues: “It is a common misconception that catching a cold or the flu comes part and parcel with the winter period. If you’re struggling to eat a healthy balanced diet, try supplementing your diet with vitamin C to help maintain a healthy immune system. Also by using a cold and flu defence nasal spray or considering a flu jab, Mums (or Dads!) can prepare for the winter months and gain back valuable extra time so they can make the most of winter.”
Boots flu pharmacist Deepa Songara's top tips for staying well this winter
- Always keeping your hands clean and germ-free by washing thoroughly with soap and water, especially before meals, and using an anti-bacterial gel or foam
- a good vitamin C supplementto help support your immune system
- using an anti-viral nasal spray clinically proven to reduce the risk of catching colds or the flu
- For busy parents always on the go, a Winter flu vaccination can help prevent catching flu and spreading it amongst the family. Talk to your pharmacist if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, as they will be able to advise you on the options available
With so many winter bugs flying round, to help you stay well this winter, Boots UK has launched the NEW 1,2,3 to Winter Wellness pack which includes the Winter Flu Jab Service (£12.99) along with a gel nasal spray and vitamin C tablets at no extra cost (subject to availability). The 1,2,3 to Winter Wellness pack is available from now until early 2015. For further advice on helping keep seasonal sniffles at bay and how to manage symptoms should winter illness set in, talk to your local pharmacist.
Disclosure : Boots are sending me some winter wellness products to help keep the sniffles at bay !
Other blogposts you may be interested in :