Ah, it's that time of year again. Summer (and hopefully a snotty nose free time) is behind us and winter is just around the corner. And you know what that means? Snotty noses, coughs and colds abound.
Sadly, snotty noses are a fact of life, but there are a few things that we can do to try and stop them spreading. You know what I'm going to say right? Yes, WASH YOUR HANDS! I know, it's as simple as that.
Snotty noses are caused by viruses which are spread by droplets. When you sneeze or cough, you spray out loads of the stuff. And then it lands on surfaces, and on your hands and the virus gets spread around like that too. Big brother sneezes, yuck goes everywhere, baby crawls into yuck and hey presto, another snotty nose.
So really simple things like covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, throwing away dirty tissues, wiping surfaces and washing your hands will all help to spread infections. Having said that, it is quite difficult at times to get children to do things like cover their mouths when they cough (depending on their age). But the sooner you start, the sooner they'll get the hand of it.
The other thing you can do is vaccinate your children against flu. The NHS is bringing out a new nasal flu vaccine and this year they are offering it to young children (aged 2-3) and children with chronic illnesses. In time they are planning to offer it to everyone. If your child is offered it (they will be contacted by your GP) I would advise taking it.
And what do to if they have breathing problems.