It’s August, so you know what that means? Summer break is almost over and it’s almost time to go back to school (sorry kids). You may have mixed feelings about going back, especially if you’re worried about getting sick the first month you’re reunited with all of your classmates. That’s why we’re revamping our annual blog on how to prevent a cold, with a special focus on keeping your kid safe and healthy in the classroom.
Common colds are the main reason that children miss school and adults miss work. While that may seem like a thing to celebrate, no one likes being bedridden and unable to breathe through their nose. To top it off, adults have an average of 2-3 colds per year, and children have even more. That’s why prevention is key!
How to Prevent a Cold
The CDC has some very clear outlines on what a cold is and what you can have your kid do to help prevent them from catching it. We know that it’s unlikely to get your kid to follow all of these, but we’re going to go over them anyway, just in case.
Early Signs of a Cold
A sore throat and a runny nose are typically the first signs of a cold. If these symptoms clear up in a day or two, then it was likely just allergies or a sinus bug. However, if they develop into a cough and sneezing, then you’re in for 7-10 days of illness.
Most people get colds in the winter and spring, but it is possible to get a cold any time of the year. Other symptoms usually include:
- Runny nose
- Body aches
CDC’s Recommendations to Prevent a Cold
To help prevent a cold, the CDC recommends the following:
- Wash your hands for 20 seconds regularly with soap and water.
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Viruses that cause colds can enter your body this way and make you sick.
- Stay away from people who are sick.
However, we know that’s not possible, especially when your kid is in a classroom all day. You can take some additional steps to protect your teen and yourself!
Zinc Can Prevent and Shorten a Cold
Research shows that taking zinc through the first few days of a cold can prevent and shorten the duration of your symptoms. That means your kid’s sniffles may not develop into a full blown cold and they will be back on their feet faster.
It’s actually pretty neat how zinc prevents a cold. It single-handedly can stop the virus (the rhinovirus) from multiplying and stops it from penetrating the membrane of your throat and nose, thus easing your symptoms and preventing the spread!
Zinc can be taken through a lozenge or syrup, though both can come with nasty side effects, such as nausea and a prolonged bad taste in your mouth. Do not use zinc nasal sprays, as they can permanently impact your sense of smell!
You can also add more nuts, such as pine nuts, cashews, or almonds, to your kid’s diet. If they’re not a fan of nuts,beef and pork are also good sources of zinc.
Or, if you have older teens in the house, we recommend getting an IV with zinc. It allows for close to 100%absorption to ensure they are better protected from the rhinovirus, without any of the side effects.
Shortening A Cold
A study published in the National Library of Medicine found that zinc can also shorten a cold by up to a day.
Additionally, the Mayo Clinic also reported that taking zinc helps reduce the length of a cold, especially when taken within 24 hours of the first signs and symptoms of a cold.
Glutathione for Cold Prevention and Relief
As an antioxidant, glutathione is great at clearing “gunk” out of your system, including the rhinovirus and viruses that cause the flu.
Emory University School of Medicine found that glutathione can protect against the production of the flu virus before the virus multiplies numerous times – just like how zinc works against a cold.
Another study done by the Institute of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine confirmed those results. They gave one group glutathione and the other a placebo and exposed them to the flu virus. Only 25% of those who received glutathione got sick, compared to 79% of the placebo group. On top of that, those in the glutathione group also recovered faster.
Foods high in glutathione includeasparagus, potatoes, peppers, carrots, avocados, squash, spinach, and melonsr you can get it in an IV as well! Pair it with zinc, vitamin C (to shorten colds), and hydration and you may be able to survive back to school without catching a cold. So before the school year starts, it’s pretty obvious what you need to do: stock up on foods rich in zinc and glutathione to get your kids’ school year off on the right (and healthy) foot! And for yourself or for your older teens, you can accomplish the same using an IV. One of our trained and registered nurses will come to your door to deliver the relief you need, all in one convenient IV.