Skip the hand dryers
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You’d think that using one of those hand dryers would be safer when it comes to germs, but recent research suggests otherwise. (They’re also really hard on your hands.) According to a study conducted by the University of Westminster, London, hand dryers spread 1,300 times as many germs around the bathroom than regular ol’ paper towel. Researchers found that the dryers fire the bacteria right into a child’s face. Dr. Gustavo Ferrer, MD, author of Cough Cures, recommends having your child use paper towels instead. Washing should be done with soap for about 15 to 20 seconds. “Instead of counting, get creative, sing a common song together like ‘Happy Birthday to you,'” he says. “Rinse them well under running water. Then dry with paper towel.”
Cut back on dairy
If your children are coming down with a cold or you notice a runny nose or a congested, deep cough, consider limiting their dairy intake. According to Dr. Ferrer, dairy products like milk and cheese make the mucus thicker and can worsen the cough and post-nasal drip. Once your child is feeling better, you can reintroduce dairy. If your child can’t imagine giving up a morning cup of chocolate milk, he or she doesn’t have to. Try these 11 smart dairy swaps.