Good afternoon! I hope you’re having a great day!
Today on the Drive we talked about the dangers of germs, where you find them, and some of the best ways to prevent them.

What are germs and how do they get us sick?
Some certain germs won’t get you sick, but they can. Germs which usually stay in certain parts of the body where they do not cause disease, will make a person sick if they find their way to another part of the body. For example, Escherichia coli (which is also sometimes known as E. coli) lives in the gut and helps digest food. However, if it gets outside the gut, E. coli can cause sickness such as bladder infection.

Germs can get into the body through the mouth, nose, breaks in the skin and eyes.  Once disease-causing germs are inside the body they can stop it from working properly. They may breed very quickly and in a very short time a small number of germs can become millions.

Germs can cause disease by upsetting the way the body works. They do this when they:

  • produce toxins (poisons)
  • increase their number greatly by breeding and they can stop parts of the body from working properly, or
  • attack and damage a particular part of the body

Kids and germs are like the peas and carrots of family life — they go together perfectly. But something as simple as frequent, effective hand washing can help prevent many germs and diseases in adults and children alike.

Ensuring your children are eating healthy and getting enough sleep may also help their immune systems fight off potentially harmful conditions. Vitamin C from foods (bell pepper), fruits (any citrus) or supplements can help boost immune system function. Eating five varied servings of fruits and vegetables per day provides more than 200 mg of vitamin C. Examples…

3/4’s of a cup of Orange juice contains 93mg of Vitamin C
1 medium Kiwi contains 63mg of Vitamin C
and a 1/2 cup of sliced strawberries contain 49mg of Vitamin C

Other good sources of vitamin C are oranges, red peppers, kale, Brussels Sprouts, broccoli, grapefruit, guava, and green peppers.

How much Vitamin C should I be getting for my age?
0-6 months         40mg
7-12 months      50mg
1-3 years              15mg
4-8 years              25mg
9-13 years           45mg
13+ years        65-90mg per day.

Here are some tips for you to avoid contact with germs…

  1. Not too close
    Avoid having close contact with people who are sick and when you are sick, keep your distance from others.
  2. Stay home when sick
    If possible, stay home from work/school. Use the 24-hour rule: Stay home if you’ve had fever within the last 24 hours.
  3.  Keep it covered
    Use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue away and wash your hands. If a tissue is not available, cover your nose and mouth with your sleeve or arm, not your hands.
  4. Hands off
    Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth when you are ill to help prevent spreading germs.
  5. Wipe it down
    Clean and disinfect surface areas at home, work and school.

    Just for fun… The three dirtiest things in your house?
    Your dish sponge… 775,460,560 bacteria per square inch
    Your sink handle…  228,854 bacteria per square inch
    Your keyboard mouse… 79,000 bacteria per square inch

    Our Word of the day today was…

interdigitate // Verb // [in-ter-dij-i-teyt]
to interlock, as or like the fingers of both hands.

[Interdigitate is a derivative of the Latin noun digitus, most commonly meaning is “finger” and secondarily “toe” and finally, as a measure of length, “the breadth of a finger, inch.” The Latin noun derives from the Proto-Indo-European root (and its variants) which mean “to point, point out, show.” One of the Germanic derivatives, which in Old English develops into tahe and then tā, whence Modern English “toe,” except that human beings cannot interdigitate with their toes. Interdigitate entered English in the 19th century. ]

Thanks for listening!