I have 10 young grandchildren that we spend a fair amount of time with. Lots of times they can be coming down with a cold or sore throat and I won't know until after. Also being in public a person is constantly surrounded by people with infections. How dangerous or serious can infections be for me? any suggestions? I know I can be careful by washing hands, etc but I also do not want to live in a bubble. Is wearing a mask in public recommended or is that overkill. I would rather not.
I would think a mask if one of your grandchildren is ill would be as far as your have to go with a mask. Handwashing is the single most important way of avoiding infection. My personal favorite is to use a disinfecting cloth on grocery cart handles. Just think of all those kids with runny noses who sit in them. If you notice you're catching allot of stuff then you'd have to be more careful.
During the first few years of taking Remicade + Imuran I caught colds all the time; I was naive about how compromised my immune system actually was. But after 15 years I've learned which habits / behaviors to modify. And now, interestingly, I get fewer common colds than I did before getting Crohn's and starting immunosuppressants. Couple quick tips:
1. Keep small bottles of hand sanitizer at home, at work, in travel bags, and *especially* in your car. But you must remember to *USE* them. Be very proactive about it. If you go to the store, the library, a friend's house, the doctor, wherever -- squeeze a dollop into your hands as soon as you get in the car, before you even put the keys in. (Those grocery carts will get ya.) Follow this tip religiously and I think you'll be surprised.
2. When you're out and about, make a conscious effort not to touch your face with your hands. (I've been using the famous "knuckle one-two scratch" technique on my itchy nose since I was a boy, so this tip is tough for me to follow. And when I DO get sick, I blame my knuckle.) Can you catch something airborne? Sure. But you're much more likely to get sick from a direct contact germ transfer.
3. When purchasing hand soap for home, get the antibacterial kind. Plain old beauty bar / moisturizing soaps may smell nice, but they won't do you any good against germs.
Hope that helps.
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