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.
Mothers are celebrated (if sometimes vilified) for their eagerness to advise
their children on matters big and small: how to behave, what to wear, whom to
marry, when to have kids ... and, oh yes, how to stay healthy during cold and
Does science back up what Dr. Mom told you about the common cold? Or was she
full of hot air? Here's what real doctors have to say about 10 familiar
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 breast fed after birth. But there are many germs that they are not protected against.
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:
Breast feed 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.
Young Kids' Risk of Colds
Young kids fight a host of ongoing viruses and bacteria as their immune systems continue to mature and strengthen. If your toddler or preschooler seems to have one cold after another, you are not alone. Most preschoolers get five to seven, or more, colds each year.
Also, many young kids have numerous ear infections, especially if they have siblings or are around other children in day care. While the struggling immune system produces antibodies to fight these new viruses and infections, the young child is more susceptible to illness.