Protect Yourself Against Common Colds

Each year in the United States, there are millions of cases of the common cold. Colds are the main reason children miss school and adults miss work. You can help reduce your risk of getting a cold by following a few simple rules.

Ways to Protect Yourself

Reduce your risk of getting a cold:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Wash them for 20 seconds. If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Viruses that cause colds can enter your body this way and make you sick.
  • Stay away from people who are sick. Sick people can spread viruses that cause the common cold through close contact with others.

How to Protect Others

If you have a cold, you should follow these tips to help reduce the risk of spreading it to others:

  • Stay at home while you're sick and keep children out of school or daycare if they are sick.
  • Avoid close contact with others
  • Wash your hands often
  • Move away from people before sneezing or coughing

To learn more about this topic, including how to feel better, when to see a doctor, and the difference between the cold and flu, please click here to read the full article on the CDC's website.

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