Growing up, you probably heard your mom say things like, “Put a hat on! You’ll catch your death of cold!” Or, maybe she cautioned you about going outside with wet hair after a shower. Well, it turns out your mom fell for some winter health myths that have been around for a long time. In fact, you may have even passed some of them on to your own children! Here are some winter myths—and the facts, too!
Myth: Going Out in the Cold Gives You a Cold
Truth: Cold weather doesn’t cause colds. Even going out in cold weather with wet hair won’t cause a cold. A cold is caused by a virus. The reason more people catch colds in the winter is because they spend more time cooped up indoors where germs are more easily passed from one person to the next. But, that doesn’t mean your mom shouldn’t bundle up when she goes outside. Seniors are at greater risk for hypothermia. Wearing layers of clothing, including hats, scarves, and gloves, can help prevent hypothermia.
Myth: Feed a Cold, Starve a Fever
Truth: There was a time when people believed that body temperature dropped during illness and that eating would help the body to warm back up. So, people likely believed that when body temperature was elevated, withholding food would help to cool it down. However, it’s actually better for your parent to eat a nutritious diet when they are ill to help fight off the sickness. In fact, experts say the body uses more energy when it is battling an illness, so your parent may need to consume more calories than usual.
Myth: There’s No Need for Sunscreen in the Winter
Truth: Although we normally associate sunscreen with hot summer days spent outdoors, people are actually exposed to even more of the sun’s UV rays during the winter because the earth is closer to the sun. In addition, the sun’s rays can bounce off the snow, so skin is exposed to the rays twice. So, while your mom may not think she needs to bother with sunscreen to protect herself from skin cancer in the winter months, she shouldn’t put it away for the winter.
Myth: Allergies Go Away in the Winter
Truth: Okay, it’s true that people who are affected by outdoor allergens, like pollen, may have an easier time in the winter. But, that doesn’t mean allergies go away. People who are sensitive to indoor allergens, like dust, mold and animal dander will still have allergy symptoms. If your mom seems to have a winter cold that just won’t go away, she should probably be tested for allergies.
Regardless of what your mom believes about these winter myths, a senior care provider can help her stay healthier this winter. A senior care provider can assist your mom with making nutritious meals that will keep her immune system in good working order. A senior care provider can also make sure your mom is bundled up when she goes outside to help her prevent hypothermia. And, if your mom has allergies and takes allergy pills, a senior care provider can remind her when it is time to take them.
Are you or a loved one considering elderly care in Saratoga Springs, UT? Please talk to the friendly staff at December Rose Senior Care at Home.
Providing Home Care in Highland, Utah and Surrounding Communities.
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