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Stop a Cold

6 Doctor-Tested Ways to Keep a Cold Away

By , Caring.com senior editor
98% helpful
Woman with handkerchief

In the United States, most adults can expect to get at least two colds between September and March. Experts aren't certain why, but they believe it's because cold viruses survive best in cold, dry weather.

What's the best way not to get sick? Well, you can't keep the cold viruses from being all around you. But you can mount a series of defenses strong enough that they can't get to you. Here are the six top doctor-tested ways to keep colds away.

1. Fight off Colds by Embracing Your Inner Germophobe

Doctors and other medical professionals, who are on the front lines in the war against colds, have discovered ingenious ways to avoid touching hard surfaces that many other people have also touched (leaving behind cold viruses that can live for up to 24 hours). They open doors with their forearms, for instance, and push elevator buttons with their knuckles.

Train yourself to think in terms of public surfaces, which means anything other people touch. Yes, the handles of shopping carts are germ breeding grounds. But watch out for your own steering wheel as well, if there are several drivers in your family. Doorknobs and toilet seat lids are obvious concerns, and be alert for anything you touch or pick up, including the backs of chairs, the handles of suitcases, the books you share with friends. Can't remember where your hands have been in the last hour? Solve the problem by washing them frequently, especially after you've been in public locations. Carry disinfectant wipes to wipe down surfaces you have to touch and hand sanitizer for when you can't get to a sink.