The Secret to Stopping Viruses Before They Start (and Giveaway)

Ah, Winter.

Does anyone else automatically think cold and flu season?

I feel like I dread this time of year because of that!

However, most people don’t understand all of the reasons why this time of year seems to bring along nasty bugs and viruses.

We know that while cold air doesn’t make people sick, but it weakens people’s immune systems.  Luckily, there are simple things you can do to kill the viruses in your home and keep your family happy and healthy.

In-Home Humidity

Cold air is usually drier air.

Many home heating systems end up making inside air even drier than outside air.

We recently received a Vicks Humidity Monitor for our home with a Vicks Winter Wellness Care Package.

It was delivered during a serious cold spell – temperatures were in the single digits!

When I turned on our humidity monitor, I was shocked to see our home was at 15% humidity.  The Sahara Desert has about 10%. Drier air allows

To put that in perspective, the Sahara Desert has about 10%. Drier air allows virus to remain infectious longer in the air and on surfaces, so the dry, cold winter is prime breeding ground!

No wonder we were all sick around this time, too.

According to one study, around 75% of viruses were still infectious after an hour in air that had less than 23% humidity. In air that had greater than 43% humidity only 15-22% of viruses maintained their infectious natures. Most of the loss in infectivity happened in the first fifteen minutes after coughing (in case you were interested).

So, basically drier air makes it easier for viruses to survive longer in the air and on surfaces.

The coldness and dryness of winter seem to be the main culprits in creating cold and flu season.

Personally, I seem to keep respiratory sicknesses around twice as long as everyone else, so I really try to avoid getting sick…so I was pretty excited to have our new humidifier.

We also pulled out our old Vick’s humidifier, and we got it running as well – two is better than one, right? After a few days of regular humidifier use the relative humidity level got up to 38%. The difference can be felt, and we haven’t gotten sick so far! If we get sick half as much this year because of extra humidity, then I’ll consider this product to be amazing.

Unfortunately, we probably get sick eventually, and humidifiers are handy for lessening symptoms of respiratory illnesses. Our Vick’s Mini Humidifier has slots for some Vick’s Vapor Pads, plus the classic Vick’s Vapor Rub will have us breathing easier if we do get sick. Vick’s products can be found at your local Wal-Mart.

Steam

Another classic way of breathing easier when your sick is eating some soup. Breathing in the steam helps. Plus, a doctor once told me you should eat small meals when you’re sick, so I think Soup qualifies. Our Vick’s Humidity Monitor always shows the the steam from a hot shower temporarily boosts the humidity in our house. The shower effect only lasted about an hour. The heat of steam can kill viruses. I practically burnt myself with steam today straining some food I was boiling.

Interestingly, the Vick’s Mini Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier can create a cool mist (like a cold steam) by rapid vibrations. It creates a cool mist unlike steam. It is kind of cool. It shakes the water so fast it is practically vaporized.

Using the power of hot water in general to clean you, your hands, and your linens will help significantly. Blankets, towels, sheets, and pillow cases have lots of nooks and crannies that viruses can hide in. Simply cleaning your sheets with hot water when and after your sick is a simple way of killing viruses. Plus, detergents and soaps are so alkaline that viruses have trouble surviving. It is helpful to keep things clean when your sick, even though that often feels like it takes too much energy.

Sunlight

The ultra-violet radiation that is in sunlight can kill viruses. Have you ever heard of something being bleached by the sun? That same power can help to disinfect things, so keep those blinds open a little more during winter time. Take a walk out into the sun if you feel up to it. It just might help kill a few more viruses without any strong chemicals. It might not help a ton, but everything adds up.

Conclusion

Sometimes, the simplest solutions can make all the difference. Understanding that there is a sweet spot to home humidity can help you to be healthier.

The idea of clean, dry air as the healthiest air is kind of ridiculous. People aren’t raisins. I’m not sure why they some think they should be dried out.

The right amount of moisture is the most natural way of living – having been raised in North Carolina, this is certainly my opinion.

Air with a little more moisture is just richer.

Most homes have alkaline soap, ultra-violet radiation from the sun, and hot, steamy water. If you take advantage of those simple things, and throw in a Vick’s home humidifier I wouldn’t be surprised if viruses have a lot harder time sticking around.

And now you can enter to win your own winter wellness package, which includes:

Vicks® Mini Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier (in blue, green or pink): Provides soothing, visible mist for temporary relief of cough and congestion symptoms. MSRP $42.99
Vicks® SmartTemp™ Wireless Thermometer: The Vicks® SmartTemp® Thermometer and free downloadable app makes it easy to take and track temperature readings for the entire family. MSRP $24.99
Protec Humidifier Antimicrobial Cleaning Fish: Features a patented antimicrobial, Aqua stat, that helps keeps your humidifier cleaner, longer. It helps kills up to 99% of odor causing bacteria. MSRP $8.99
Vicks® VapoPads: Provide up to 8 hours of soothing menthol vapors per pad. MSRP $14.99
Vicks® Humidity Monitor: The Vicks® Healthcheck hygrometer displays a room’s temperature and humidity level to help provide information you need to control your environment. MSRP $16.99
Puffs Plus® Lotion: The perfect tissue for when sore or runny noses need some extra softness. That little dab of lotion goes a long way t calm the most sensitive skin through a cold, flu or allergies. MSRP $1.29 – $12.99
Vicks® VapoRub™ Topical Ointment: A topical cough medicine with medicated vapors. MSRP $5.49 – $6.49

Vicks Winter Wellness Care Package

This is a sponsored post written for Vicks Humidifiers. I was compensated and provided complimentary products for this post. All opinions are my own.

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