Podcast Episode #7: Cold and Flu Season
In this episode of Ask the Doulas, Cindy talks about how to stay healthy during the cold and flu season. You can listen to this complete podcast on iTunes.
Alyssa: Hi, welcome back to Ask the Doulas with Gold Coast Doulas. I am Alyssa, co-owner and postpartum doula. Today’s episode is sponsored by Cindy’s Suds, and we have Cindy with us today.
Alyssa: Hello. We are going to be talking about cold and flu season because it is upon us.
Cindy: It is, yeah.
Alyssa: Give us some good tips and tricks for parents and kids to get through this season.
Cindy: Okay. It is hard because everywhere you look, people are sneezing, snotty; Kleenex are out; eye goobers. I mean, you just look and you’re like, “Oh, I’m going to get the cooties. It’s all over!” But there are definitely some things that you can do proactively to try to keep your family healthy during this time of year. The biggest – and we’ve all heard it over and over, but I cannot emphasize enough how important handwashing is. It truly is the cornerstone of keeping you and your family healthy during this flu season. As a mom, you should be washing your hands all the time because we’re constantly doing little – “Oh, let me wipe you nose. Let me do this. Let me do that.” You’re constantly touching, and so you should be constantly washing your hands so that you’re not cross-contaminating.
Alyssa: Which is crazy, because I do; I wash my hands all the time, and then I get super dry hands because it’s the middle of winter.
Cindy: Right, right. Well, I do have some options for that at cindyssuds.com!
Cindy: Right, segue! And that does tend to be a problem is just drying out your hands really bad. But you know, segue, we do have great products that are 100% natural to keep your hands soft during this season.
Alyssa: Just keep some lotion next to my handwashing at the sink.
Cindy: Exactly, exactly. But the best thing to do really is just you need to wash your hands. The whole latest thing is the ease of hand sanitizers and Purell and things like that. I obviously am not a proponent of those. Your good old, basic, old-fashioned soap and water; that’s really all you need. You really just need to have basic handwashing with soap and water. You want to try to use warm water. You want to try to wash your hands for about 30 seconds, which is singing Happy Birthday twice. That’s really what you need to do. You want to make sure that you’re getting between your fingers, the tops of your hands, you know, just really getting a good lather on, rinsing and drying. But that should be your cornerstone across the board for this time of year, especially obviously after you blow your nose, wipe someone else’s nose, wipe someone else’s eyes. Before you touch their eyes or nose; you should be doing it then, too. Obviously, before you prepare food, before and after bathroom use; the typical things. But I just can’t emphasize enough: handwashing is key. And it’s also key to teach your kids now to do it so that it becomes a lifelong habit. Even now, before we do anything, like before we sit down for dinner, I’m still – and my kids are all teenagers. I’m still, “Wash your hands,” because I want to plant the seed over and over even though they’re all teens. It’s so important to make sure that you’re washing your hands at certain times. You just need to add to it, unfortunately, at this time of year. You can help teach your kids for sneezing and coughing to do into your elbow because that is going to help prevent some of that splash, if you will, of a sneeze or a cough from going everything.
Alyssa: I’ve seen those slo-mo videos.
Cindy: Oh, man, they’re nasty. They’re so bad. So teach them to sneeze or cough into their elbow, kind of looking away, so that you’re trying to avoid some of that transfer of saliva as it goes out. The more sleep that you can get, obviously, this time of year, is really going to help keep your body healthy. In the wintertime, our bodies tend to need more sleep anyway just because we have less sun, and our internal timeclocks are geared more towards needing more sleep in the winter, so listen to your body. When you feel tired, you should try to go to bed. And this is blanketed for your kids, too, even more so, because our kids are – they obviously need more sleep than an adult does, and they’re stressed in their little worlds, too, with school and different play things and sports and whatever. Water, water, water, water. That needs to be something that you’re just really pushing as a mom for both yourself and also for your kids, to really make sure that they’re getting the fluid intake that they need because your bodies really need the fluids to flush out and to try to keep your body healthy. And food should be your cornerstone of your medicine, if you will. “Let food be your medicine,” so more leafy greens, more fruits that have the naturally-occurring vitamin C in it, so your citrus foods. But really use food as a cornerstone of keeping your body healthy and kind of thinking – every bite that you’re taking in, think of it as something that you’re giving your body nutrition-wise and almost like a medicine-wise, because it truly is. I mean, all the food that we eat is going to either be feeding our bodies or depleting our bodies, so let those food choices be feeding what you are trying to do, and basically, it’s trying to be healthy and have a healthy body. So healthy food choices, lots and lots of water, teaching sneezing and coughing into your elbow, getting proper sleep, handwashing all the time. So those are the biggest things. I did mention the whole Purell, hand sanitizer thing.
Alyssa: Yeah, you know, if it’s the only option, you know, you’re at the mall, and the kid wants to go in the play area, if there’s nothing else, I’m going to hand-sanitize. But yeah, I really try to stay away because you hear how bad it is, and we’re killing all the germs, like the good bacteria, and we’re just kind of making ourselves sicker.
Cindy: Exactly. 100%, I agree. But there is a fine line because you also, if you’ve been at a petting zoo all day and you’re going to eat lunch and there’s no water, you’re kind of stuck. And so your options are if you have towelettes with you – if you can think ahead, bring some paper towels and some soap and water in a little baggie, just like moistened paper towels, or handwipes, things like that; if you’re thinking ahead, great. Unfortunately, too, I feel like a lot of schools now are mandating that kids carry Purell with them. In fact, it was –
Cindy: I know. I homeschool so I don’t have that experience, but I have friends that are given a list of things that your child needs to bring to school for the school year, and Purell is on that list.
Alyssa: Well, at least – and maybe you can start making this. I’ve seen some all-natural hand sanitizer alternative kinds of things.
Cindy: And we have something called Germ Guard, and so it is different essential oils that we use with a witch hazel base. And witch hazel has a natural 14% alcohol, so it still does have alcohol in it, but it’s in the natural form because it’s witch hazel, and that’s just what witch hazel is. So we have our essential oil Germ Guard blend which is a spray, and I know a lot of moms use that as a natural hand sanitizer. They keep it in their diaper bag. I keep one in my purse for the same reason, like if I’m not around water.
Alyssa: That’s awesome. I wonder if that would count at schools.
Cindy: I don’t know. Schools tend to be kind of regimented, so I’m not sure.
Alyssa: Well, I can tell you they are teaching in preschool – because my daughter will cough and sneeze in her elbow, and she does – I watch. She doesn’t do it long enough, but I watch her hand-wash, and she knows.
Cindy: It’s a start. Yeah, it’s a start, and as a mom, we’re teaching these life habits and these life skills. So if you’re teaching them now to do the washing of the hands, that’s perfect. That’s what you want to do, and that’s great that they’re teaching the cough and sneeze in the elbow, because that’s really –
Alyssa: I mean, at least if they’re doing it 50% of the time.
Cindy: Right, exactly. Anything that you can do to lessen the viral load that you’re picking up every day, great. You know, it’s – being sick, unfortunately, is a fact of life. We have bacteria and viruses as part of our world, but you can eliminate and decrease some of the viral load that you’re exposed to just by some basic lifestyle habits, you know, like we just mentioned.
Alyssa: Yeah. And I think talking, too – so my four-and-a-half-year-old, the second she comes home from preschool, it’s “Get in there and wash your hands,” because all I can picture – it’s like she might as well have poop on her hands. I don’t want her to touch a thing, so I make her wash, but I tell her why. I’m not just like, “Wash your hands.” I’m like, “Hey, you’ve been at school all day.” “Well, I washed my hands before we went outside.” You know, she tries to give me all these excuses. “But I did it before I went potty.” I’m like, “Did you do it after you went potty?” So just explaining, you know, germs all over your hands from the toys, from the playground, from the other kids; we’re going to get ready to eat, so I want you to wash your hands, and then she’s like, okay.
Cindy: And it doesn’t change when they’re teenagers, either. You’re still doing the same old song and dance. You’re around people all day, and you touch things all day at the store, you know, you’ve got to wash your hands. But yeah, very true, very good points. So you basically teach that handwashing, and if you aren’t in a place where there is water running, the next best thing is if you can get your hands on a natural hand sanitizer; that’s great.
Alyssa: Yeah. I think I might have to get some of the Germ Guard next, then. I like the idea of that.
Cindy: Yeah, it’s great stuff. And lots of people have used it as a hand sanitizer. You can use it in other ways as well. It’s a really great-smelling product, too, for just helping to kind of clean up the air this time of year, too.
Alyssa: Yeah, instead of spraying Lysol.
Cindy: Oh, gosh, no.
Alyssa: It just kills me to see how many products on the market people buy, spray in the air, breathe them; light these candles that are toxic. Like, we’re just breathing it non-stop.
Cindy: Right. You’ll have to have me back for another episode because that’s such a pet peeve of mine, all of these assaults to our bodies that we’re breathing in all the time that are full of chemical and fragrance. You don’t realize it because it’s everywhere, but it really has such a negative effect for making your health deteriorate, so it’s just one of those things that – it’s a whole other topics.
Alyssa: Put that on the list. Put that on the list.
Cindy: Exactly, right.
Alyssa: Well, thanks again for joining us.
Alyssa: If you have questions for Cindy, you can email her.
Alyssa: Thanks for listening. And you know you can find us goldcoastdoulas.com. Email us: email@example.com. Find us on Instagram and Facebook, and be sure to subscribe to this podcast. Talk to you next time.