When one of my kids is sick, I go on high alert. Preventing the illness of the well child becomes my full-time job. Hand-washing goes into overdrive. I am a broken record saying, “Cough into your elbow! Use a tissue! Don’t pick your nose!” When I see the well child go for a drink that the sick child had, I’ve been known to dive across the room shouting a dramatic, “Noooooooo … !” in an effort to yank the cup out of toddler hands. The truth is that we know so much now about how to prevent illness that when we see the opportunity to protect our kids from it, we jump. Sometimes literally. Because having sick kiddos — and inevitably getting sick yourself because they’re not coughing into their elbows or using tissues — is just a special kind of parental pain.
We’ve come a long way in our knowledge of communicable diseases, so it’s really fun to look back on some of the philosophies of yesterday. Take this 1940s-era educational video, for example. It advises that wet feet and a cold body are sure paths to illness, along with other dated commentary. But it does share some good advice, like not sharing food and not spitting (although while those kids are spitting is unknown).
To make sure we’re all current, here are eight busted myths about colds and flu. Knowledge is power — and we all want the power to keep from getting sick!
Also from Erin: