Ever wonder what makes some people more at risk for colds than others?
While everyone is at risk for getting a cold, some people are at even greater risk. That's because there is a variety of situations and circumstances that can put you and your loved ones at an increased risk for getting a viral or bacterial infection. Let's take a look at some of the people who are at higher risk for colds. Then after reading this article, take time to assess your own risk factors for catching a cold. Next, talk with your health care provider about how you can reduce these risks. By making a few simple changes in your lifestyle habits and washing your hands frequently throughout the day, you can reduce your risk of catching colds and other contagious bugs.
When Gina Gallo, a school librarian in Lacombe, La., gets sick, she can take
care of herself. She gets her own medicine, makes her own food, and "deals with
it," as she puts it. But when her fiancé gets a cold, she says he has "a
complete system breakdown."
"The world stops and the whining is incessant," she says. "I am expected to
bring him food, take care of him, and generally treat him like the baby that he
Gallo's fiancé declined to talk with WebMD for this story. Their Mars-Venus
Newborns are at high risk for colds or other infections for the first 4 to 6 weeks of life. That's because their immune system is functionally immature. Babies do get some immune protection from the antibodies they receive from the placenta before birth. They also get antibodies through the mother's breast milk if they are being breastfed after birth. But there are many germs they can't fight off.
It's important to help newborns build a strong immune system before they are exposed to cold viruses. A virus that causes a mild illness in an older child or an adult can cause a more serious illness in a newborn. Here are some ways to reduce the risk of colds for your newborn:
Breastfeed your newborn baby -- it helps boost your baby's immunity.
Sterilize bottles and nipples between uses by boiling them or running them through the dishwasher.
Discard unused formula or breast milk (if bottled), after each feeding -- baby's saliva has germs which multiply quickly.
Keep baby's formula or breast milk in the refrigerator until just before feeding time. Then warm the milk and feed it to the baby immediately, before bacteria have a chance to grow.
Wash your hands frequently before and after feeding your baby and before and after changing your baby's diaper.
Keep newborns away from anyone who is sick.
If possible, avoid crowds and using public transportation with newborns.