Ahhh, the cold weather is here with vengeance. In Canberra it seems like only yesterday it was so hot that the kids were complaining about the car airconditioner not being strong enough. And now the wet and wind has set in and much of the beautiful autumn foliage has confettied down to the ground. It is also the season for colds and flu.
From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, the change of seasons (principally Autumn to Winter) is when your body is most susceptible to colds and flu. Most Chinese people are quite fastidious about wearing warm clothes, especially about ensuring that children are warmly dressed.
But from a Western medical perspective, there are many reasons for colds and flus spreading. And a good way to avoid getting the cold and flu is simply by ensuring good personal hygiene, namely by washing your hands.
Maybe it is a Taiwanese/Chinese thing, but we are big on hand washing in our household. The kids have been drilled from an early age to take off their shoes and wash their hands as soon as they get home. This is especially important in winter, and especially if we have been on public transport. And of course, there is often a lot of hand and face washing AFTER dinner as well.
One thing I do miss about Taiwan is how incredibly CLEAN everything is. At supermarkets such as RT Mart, there would be messages to tell you how the shopping trolleys were disinfected periodically. And at all stations on the East Coast’s high speed rail, the escalator sides are disinfected every few two hours. Just in case.
This may sound paranoid (only the paranoid survive), but in a dense urban setting where the population has endured SARS and most recently various outbreaks of the Avian flu, it pays to have good personal hygiene. There is I believe an tendency in Australia to over rely on the theory that you need a bit of germs in order to build up your immune system. This is fine to a point: until your child vomits over breakfast and you have to miss that important work meeting or long-awaited date night out. Or when you, as the main carer, get so sick you can hardly get out of bed let alone look after children who are totally dependent on you.
And the ‘building up your immune system’ argument only really works for healthy adults and children. Big A was born two months’ prematurely, and due to complications with his lungs, struggled to pull through his first night in a humidicrib. For the longest time afterwards we had to ensure that he was not exposed to anyone with colds or flus, because he was still weak and had a strong risk of complications. At one point I was furious because my hospital roommate let her partner, who was recovering from a bad flu, sleep in her bed during the day. If I had gotten sick, I would not have been able to see my baby for a week or more. And if the baby had gotten sick, well I would not want to think about it.
Let’s not go there. Suffice to say that some people, such as sick children and elder people, are not as resilient to the dread lurgy.
Recently, I was privileged to trial some Dettol products. My favourite was the Dettol Revitalise Antibacterial Hand wash with Raspberry and Pomegranate. OMG, this smells so amazing – really fresh and lovely and 2A loved it as well. I also liked a form based Rose and Cherry in Bloom handwash (you can tell I really get into the whole handwashing thing).
To celebrate the colder weather, I have a special offer the following to give away to one lucky blog reader a package of the following Dettol products:
Dettol Revitalise Antibacterial Hand wash with Raspberry and Pomegranate
Dettol Power & Pure Wipes
Dettol A Touch of Foam Rose and Cherry in Bloom
To enter, leave a comment to say why you believe it is important to wash your hands.