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How can I prevent the cold from spreading?

Answered by Dr Ellie Cannon
8th September 2015

The common cold virus is spread by:

  • Breathing in droplets of fluid containing the virus, such as when someone sick sneezes or coughs without covering their mouth.
  • Touching something handled by a sick person and then touching your mouth, nose or eyes. In general, a cold virus on an indoor surface is infectious for 24 hours.

Some tips to prevent a cold virus from spreading:

  • Limit contact with someone that has a cold.
  • Wash your hands frequently, and make sure your child and anyone around them do the same. Some common cold viruses are still infectious on hands after an hour.
  • Sneeze and cough into tissues, and discard them immediately and wash your hands after.
  • Do not share cups, cutlery, and so on.
  • Use paper towels to dry your hands and face instead of shared towels.
  • Clean surfaces regularly. It may also be a good idea to clean your child’s toys regularly, especially after a play date.
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