A recent study shows that parents get sick twice as much as childless people.
According to a report from Pharma Dynamics, parents fall ill twice as much as anyone else. And I am inclined to believe them.
Before having kids I got sick once, maybe twice a year, now my son brings back every conceivable germ that preschool can throw at us. I was sick for almost my entire first trimester of my second pregnancy and not because of morning sickness. Thanks preschool!
Marika van Aswegen backs up my claims saying, “Young children are a reservoir of germs and if they’re at crèche, school or any place else where they are around other children, they’re in a super-virus environment, which makes them the perfect vectors for illness and for passing viruses around. Kids hug, touch and cough all over each other. They chew on toys and as a result share their saliva, and then parents hug, kiss and cuddle them. It’s no wonder that the average parent catches a cold more compared to those without children.”
A recent study conducted by the University of Utah’s School of Medicine confirms this notion further. They found that families with two, three or four children have some type of virus present in their household just under 60% of the time, whereas childless households were only infected with viruses three to four weeks of the year.
Many parents will tell you that once one person in the home gets sick, the germs get passed around until the entire household is man down, like a dreaded game of pass the parcel.
Each additional child in a household increased a family member’s risk of falling ill. Households with one child tested positive about 18 weeks of the year, while families with more than four children tested positive about 45 weeks of the year – that’s a whopping 87% of the time.
How to keep the germs at bay
1. Wash your hands
Instil the practice of proper hand washing techniques in your home and do so often especially when everyone is sick. This could reduce the chances of catching your child’s cold by 30 to 50%.
2. Get more sleep
Aswegen also says “besides eating your greens, getting enough sleep is another critical factor in fighting off colds and flu. Research tells us that people who sleep six hours or less a night are four times more likely to catch a cold when exposed to a virus, compared to those who get in more than seven hours a night.”
Now sleep is a precious commodity that most parents often only day-dream about, on account of them not actually sleeping. But when you’re sick, sleep really does help your body recover. You and your partner may have to take turns in seeing to the kids at night if you’re both sick.
3. Keeping clean
Keeping a clean and dust-free house is equally important. It might also be worth getting an air filter to clean and purify the air in your home, especially if you’ve experienced wave after wave of illness in your household.
Time-deprived parents may also benefit from supplements that can boost their immune system. Look for ones that contain vitamin C, zinc and echinacea, which when used in combination are excellent at combating colds and flu.
Press release by Efferflu C Immune Booster/Pharma Dynamics.