New Zealand winters are not always pleasant… it gets rainy, windy and COLD! And because of how dry the air gets, it’s much easier for nasty viruses to spread. Looking after your family can be a lot more difficult when someone is sick, but luckily there are some vital steps you can take to help minimise the chances of you or your little ones falling ill. Here are some of our tips to share to help you and your family stay well and healthy this winter!

  1. Wash your hands

Did you know that viruses can survive on unwashed hands for 30 minutes, and up to two days on surfaces? Hands are one of the easiest ways for a virus to spread, so making sure to wash your hands thoroughly and frequently is hence one of the BEST methods of eliminating all those nasty germs you might have come in contact with.

A good rule of thumb to follow is to wash your hands for the duration that it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice. Be sure to wash every part of your hands – not just your palms, but the backs of your hands and between your fingers as well!

Another good habit is to avoid touching your face when you have not washed your hands, because if you touch your eyes, nose or mouth while a virus is on your hands, you are likely to become infected yourself. Maintain good hygiene practices and be sure to wash your hands before preparing or eating food, after coughing or sneezing, after changing your little one’s diaper and after using the bathroom.

  1. Hand sanitiser when you’re on-the-go

When you are out and about, it can be a challenge to find a bathroom or a basin with soap to wash your hands properly. That’s where hand sanitiser comes in handy! There’s no need for water, it’s small and portable, fits in your bag, and it’s quick and effective – meaning you can use it just about any time, any place!

When you’re choosing which hand sanitiser to purchase, make sure you select something that has been scientifically proven to eliminate germs effectively. When applying your sanitiser, use a liberal amount and rub all around your hands for at least 20 seconds until they are dry.

TOP TIP: Our Haakaa Healthy Hands Sanitising Spray is perfect for those looking for an alcohol-free alternative to standard hand sanitisers! It’s safe and gentle enough for the whole family to use, including your baby, AND it can last for up to 24 hours, so there’s less need to reapply throughout the day! It kills nasties on contact with its unique formula, won’t dry out your skin and has no powerful smell – an absolute win!

  1. Eat well

Making the right food choices can have a significant influence on your immunity, so be sure to fuel yourself with a healthy, balanced diet this winter! Good immunity-boosting foods to incorporate into your everyday life include leafy greens, egg yolks, mushrooms and fish.

It is widely thought that vitamin C boosts your immune system and helps to minimise the chances of getting sick. However, this is not necessarily true – research indicates that there is no evidence to show that taking vitamin C prevents infection from viruses. Nonetheless, vitamin C still supports several essential roles in your body, including your normal immune function. Plus, it can help speed your recovery if you do get sick – so make sure you get some good sources of it in, such as oranges, kiwifruit and tomatoes!

  1. Wear a mask

Although they may seem uncomfortable, it is widely recommended to wear a mask as they can be incredibly helpful in slowing down the spread of a virus. They can filter out particles in the air when you inhale, including the droplets in the air that contain viruses.

  1. Take care of yourself

Healthy habits like getting plenty of sleep, ensuring you are well hydrated, being physically active, and managing your mental health can all help minimise the risks of you getting sick. Too much stress on your body and mind can make you more prone to falling ill, as it suppresses your immune system. Take some time to relax and put your wellbeing first every now and then – it will do you good in the long-run, mama!

TOP TIP: Take a look at our self-care blog post for more information and ideas about making time for yourself.

We hope our tips prove useful this winter and help you and your family stay well and healthy. Remember - if you can’t look after yourself, it will be even more difficult to look after somebody else! All the best and stay safe mamas. x

With love, from the Haakaa team.