Humidifiers Reduce Survival of Flu Viruses on Surfaces and in the Air*
In the war against the flu, your home is a major battleground. Millions of flu particles can linger in the air and on the surfaces we touch day in and day out, from computer keyboards and TV remotes to the kitchen sink or refrigerator door handle. With flu top of mind this year, there has been increased interest by the scientific community in how the flu virus lives. When a cold strikes, running a humidifier can help relieve congestion and soothe a sore throat, and it's especially important for children since their smaller nostrils get stuffed up more easily.
Cold and flu season has arrived, and we have something new to tell you about it. A recent study of findings suggests that maintaining an indoor humidity level between 40-60% can reduce the survival of flu viruses on surfaces and in the air. We've all come to rely upon humidifiers for relief of cough and cold symptoms throughout the years, but now we know they may play an important role in reducing the survival of the flu virus on both surfaces and in the air. A humidifier will help to provide relief from coughs and congestion. Now studies suggest that they can also help reduce the number of germs on surfaces and in the air.
Humidifiers help relieve your cold and flu symptoms when you or your family are sick and also help to reduce the number of influenza germs in the world around them.
While there is no cure for the common cold, fortunately, there are things parents and caregivers can do to make children - and themselves - feel better. Using a humidifier is definitely one of them. In fact, one of the first things most pediatricians recommend when a child comes down with a cold is running a humidifier to help ease congestion.
When a cold strikes, running a humidifier can help relieve congestion and soothe a sore throat, and it’s especially important for children since their smaller nostrils get stuffed up more easily.
Running a humidifier every day can help your family stay well. Maintaining the right amount of moisture in your home can help ease congestion and soothe sore throats, which helps you breathe better and sleep more comfortably. Even when the whole family is healthy, proper humidity levels in the home can ease other discomfort caused by dry winter air, such as a dry nose, a dry throat, and dry eyes.
Tips for using your humidifier:
KEEP THINGS CLEAN Remember to rinse the tank daily and follow manufacturers’ instructions regarding cleaning
to insure that the humidifier stays free of mold or bacteria. There are new cleaning accessories available that can help keep your humidifier cleaner, longer.
SAFE KEEPING Humidifiers should be placed on a firm flat surface at least four feet away from bedside and out of the reach of small children with the power cord out of the way to prevent the humidifier from being tipped over.
DON’T OVER-MOISTURIZE Moisture in the air is good, but too much isn’t. If you start to see condensation on the windows or the air feels damp, it’s time to turn your moisturizing efforts down a notch. Try using a hygrometer to help monitor whether your indoor humidity level is optimal (about 50%). These helpful gadgets are sold at most major stores.
ENHANCE YOUR EFFORTS BY ADDING MENTHOL Adding menthol treatments to your moisturizing efforts can not only bring back that special aroma from your own childhood, but may also help to relieve your child’s congestion and cold symptoms. If you have a humidifier with a medicine cup, adding an inhalant such as Vicks VapoSteam will give your child an extra dose of comfort. For children under the age of two years, discuss with your doctor before using. For children over two and adults, follow instructions on the packaging of VapoSteam Inhalant."
* Studies have shown that keeping indoor air at an RH level of 40-60% reduces survival of flu viruses compared to lower RH levels.
When used as directed, humidifiers can achieve and maintain 40-60% RH levels.