Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Cold, Flu, & Cough Health Center

Select An Article

What Puts You at Risk for the Common Cold?

Font Size

Day Care

Colds can spread easily in day care, so you'll want to take some extra steps to keep your child healthy.

Teach him to wash his hands the right way. Make sure he gets them wet with water and plain soap and rubs for 20 to 30 seconds. An easy way for him to get the timing right -- sing "Happy Birthday" twice while he washes. Remind him to wash up before eating and after going to the bathroom.

Also follow these tips:

  • Tell your child not to share cups, glasses, and forks and spoons.
  • Keep him at home when he's sick.
  • Make sure he gets enough sleep, eats a healthy diet, and gets plenty of time to play outdoors.
  • Replace his toothbrush and make sure he doesn't borrow one from his brother or sister.

Life in College Dorms

It's easy to catch a cold if you live in a college dorm, where lots of students live in a small space and breathe the same air and touch the same surfaces.

Tell your student to follow some of the same advice he needed back when he was in preschool: Wash hands often, eat healthy foods, and get as much sleep as possible.

Weak Immune Systems

If you've got a weakened immune system, you're at a higher risk for colds. That's the case if you have AIDS, get chemotherapy, or just had an organ transplant.

Make sure everyone in your family is up to date with their vaccines. Your visitors may need to wear gloves and masks so they don't spread their germs to you.

And like anyone who wants to keep germs at bay, try to have a nutritious diet and get enough rest.

Older Adults

When you get older adults you're at more risk for getting colds, and they may stick around longer, too.

To stay healthy, eat right, get plenty of exercise, drink lots of water, and get enough rest.

Wash your hands thoroughly several times a day, and especially before eating and after you go to the bathroom.

Also, replace your toothbrush regularly, and don't be tempted to borrow one from someone else in the family.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Varnada Karriem-Norwood, MD on July 14, 2014
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

hot toddy
15 tips to help you feel better.
man sneezing into elbow
Do echinacea and vitamin C really help a cold?
teen girl coughing
Get a good night’s rest with these remedies.
elder berry
Eat these to fight colds, flu, and more.
Natural Cold Flu Remedies Slideshow
cold weather
Allergy And Sinus Symptom Evaluator
Boy holding ear
woman receiving vaccine shot
woman with fever
Waking up from sleep
woman with sore throat