There is no way to prevent the cold, or any infection from happening, but if you build up a strong immune system, you will fight it off much quicker. You can naturally boost your immune system by eating well (including lots of fruits and veggies), quitting smoking and staying away from second-hand smoke, drinking a lot of water, and being physically active. You can also help avoid getting a cold by minimizing contact with others who are infected by not sharing food or drinks, and having your own beach towels, etc. Since the cold virus can live on materials such as door handles, money, and countertops for several hours, it is important to wash your hands regularly or have hand sanitizer with you at all times. Also remember, when you have a cold, have some courtesy for others who are trying to avoid the same misfortune, and cover your sneezes and wash your hands!
Just like with prevention, there is no cure for the common cold. Therefore, the main goal is to do things to make you feel better and recover faster. The first and most important thing is to get lots of rest, perhaps up to 12 hours of sleep each night. You will also want to drink lots of liquids to help clear your congested sinuses. For relief of aches and pains that are accompanied by fever, try taking an over the counter medicine such as Tylenol, and avoid giving Aspirin to children because it can cause the potentially fatal Rays Syndrome. Also, try adding lots of juice, fruits, vegetables, and soups to your diet so you can fight off the infection quicker. Other home remedies that can lessen the symptoms of a cold are ginger, which can be grated and steeped in water for tea, as well as garlic which as an immune system boosting effects. Hot baths can also make you feel better because they increase your body’s circulation which can help relieve a stuffy head, and congested lungs or nose. Some people also believe that taking a bit of rum or brandy in a hot drink will help treat a cold or flu because the alcohol will kill off germs in the body. However, if you do try this technique, be sure not to drink too much, as this will just result in you feeling worse the next day and a lowering of your immune system.