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Top Tips for Mums to beat colds and flu this winter

Winter is well on its way, chilly days and long nights; soup-suppers and cosy nesting nights, which brings with it cough-and-sniffle season. There’s nothing sadder than a child who is trapped indoors by the flu, or who’s sneezing through the days and nights.

“Don’t get caught,” says PharmaChoice spokesperson, pharmacist Liezl van Tonder. She provides you with your essential to-do list to get your kids through the season without the sniffles:

1. Keep things tidy

Discourage your child from sharing food, utensils, towels etc with other kids when they’re at school. These are prime places where cold and flu bugs lie and wait.

2. Look for hygiene-conscious child care centres
Toys often carry respiratory secretions, which in cold and flu season are ticking time bombs. Look for centres where the toys are made of plastic, and where they are disinfected daily. If there are stuffed toys, they should be washed weekly.

3. Make your child germ aware
Teach them to wash their hands before and after eating, after using the bathroom, after touching animals, and when they have been in public spaces. Also, teach them that when their hands haven’t been washed, they should avoid touching their own faces.

4. Keep their little bodies in tiptop shape

Wrap them up warmly, and send them off daily with fruit to snack on: fruit is a powerhouse of vitamins and antioxidants. When you suspect other kids might be sneezing, give yours a pre-emptive immune-system booster.

5. Keep them home if you must
If you become aware that a lot of kids at their crèche or school have colds or flu, and your child is healthy, rather keep them home for a few days if you can. Similarly, if your child does come down with something, keep them home to boost their chances of a quick recovery, and to avoid infecting other children.

She adds, “Even kids live in the fast lane, going from pre-school and school to after-care and extramural activities with laden backpacks; and they’re exposed daily to the germs and viruses carried by schoolmates, friends and strangers. Simply, nature needs a helping hand if she is to be our ally.”

“Schools are “danger zones” for potentially infectious bacteria and viruses,” She explains, “When our immune systems are robust and the viral exposure is relatively limited, we shrug off any attacks. But when the viral contact is repeated and quite heavy, or when our immune systems are compromised, for instance at the change of season, or in the cold of winter, we succumb, and get a cold, or flu.”

“Children are particularly vulnerable because of their continuous exposure to other kids and the physical nature of their interactions on the sports fields and playgrounds, and mothers end up feeling desperate as the little ones sniffle all the way through winter and sometimes become more seriously sick.”

“Get your kids to take an immune booster like ViralChoice junior it will keep the little ones in robust form and comes in two great flavours, apple and orange.” She says, “It is one of the leading immune system boosters in South Africa and it contains some of the most highly-rated boosters provided by nature it also contains no sugar or alcohol, so it won’t make children hyperactive or sleepy.”

Arming your children with tried and tested superpower nutrients in addition to their daily dietary nutrients will do them the world of good like:

  •     Echinacea extract: Increases the body's natural resistance to infections, particularly against cold and flu.  
  •     Green tea: A powerful antioxidant which helps inhibit bacterial growth and infection.  
  •     Rosehip: One of nature’s richest sources of vitamin C, Contains bioflavonoids which support the benefits of vitamin C.  
  •     Vitamins: 
  •     A: a deficiency may lead to an increased susceptibility to infection.
  •     B6: needed for the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
  •     B12: needed for growth and reproduction.
  •     C: may help lessen the duration and intensity of a cold or flu infection.
  •     D: A deficiency leads to a decreased resistance to infection.
  •     E: an antioxidant which boosts several components of the immune system.
  •     Folic acid: Needed for healthy blood. A deficiency reduces certain immune functions.  
  •     Biotin: Forms part of several enzyme systems and is needed for healthy functioning of the body.  
  •     Pantothenic acid: The body requires more of this substance in times of stress, for example during a cold or flu infection.  
  •     Selenium: Antioxidant which together with vitamin E increases resistance to infection 
“Arming your children an optimal daily dose of nutrients will ensure you reduce their susceptibility to cold and flu infection and will help their recovery, by reducing the severity of colds and flu.” van Tonder concludes.

For more information visit:

Show us how your family is joining the resistance against cold and flu by sending us a picture of your family with a ViralChoice product and you could win one of these awesome prizes.

1st Prize: Family Holiday worth R30 000
2nd & 3rd Prize: iPads worth R5000
Runner up prizes: 10 PharmaChoice hampers worth R800 each

Take a photo of your family including a ViralChoice  product and send it to with the Subject Line: "Fighting Flu with ViralChoice" and stand in line to win fantastic prizes including a family holiday!

Competition closes on the 21 July 2012.

1. The judges' decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. The prizes are not transferable and may not be converted into cash. Please supply your residential address if possible. 2. Staff members of Media24,, client, as well as their advertising agencies and their immediate family members may not enter.The competition is open to readers in South Africa. 3. Prizes awarded are the responsibility of the competition sponsors. Parent24 cannot be held responsible in the event of any problems arising.

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