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Preventing a Cold Outbreak at Your Next Birthday Party

Preventing a Cold Outbreak at Your Next Birthday Party

Guest Post by Katy Fleming, MA, LPC, BSN, RN

When little ones gather at your child’s birthday party, guests often leave with more than a goodie bag.

From handshakes to sharing toys and talking closely, germs are spread in countless ways at children’s events. 

Rather than sharing viruses at your next birthday celebration, remain proactive to prevent a cold and flu outbreak. 

Preventing a Cold Outbreak at Your Next Birthday Party

It only takes one sick child to infect the entire guest list. When someone coughs into their hand and then touches the doorknob, millions of germs are spread.  

Consider these tips to prevent a cold outbreak at your next birthday party or event. 

Set Boundaries 

It’s frustrating when someone sends a sick child to a party or group event. RSV, colds, and the flu spread quickly as little ones share toys and gather close together. 

Set a kind, but firm rule that if someone in the family isn’t feeling well, they should stay home. 

Try adding a fun line to the invitations such as, “Check your sniffles at the door. We love you, but don’t love colds. If you aren’t feeling well, please stay home and feel better!” 

Allow your party guests to cancel at any time in case last-minute symptoms arise. Some folks may feel bad, but let friends know that you can plan a play date another time instead. 

Supply the Tissues 

Help your friends and family cover up their coughs and sneeze by sticking boxes of tissues in easily accessible places. 

Consider placing a pump bottle of hand sanitizer by the party food, games, and high-traffic areas. 

If a party guest arrives with a stuffy nose, direct them to a pack of Noze Wipes to gently wipe away any snot and boogers with high-quality congestion relief wipes. 

Create a Handwashing Game 

Preventing the spread of germs starts with regular handwashing. It’s estimated that routine handwashing would prevent one million deaths a year if everyone participated. 

Before eating pizza, sharing toys, or digging into cake, encourage the kids to wash their hands.

Try playing a fun game to make hand hygiene more appealing. For example, start a game of hot potato using a bar of soap. Play upbeat children’s music and allow the winner to wash their hands first. 

Make sure you wash your hands before handling any of the party food, as well. Food preparers can easily contaminate the meal. 

Vaccinate Your Family 

Staying up to date on vaccinations helps your body develop protection against different viruses. 

Most childhood vaccines are 90% to 99% effective in preventing disease according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Everyone 6 months and older is recommended to receive an annual flu and COVID-19 vaccine, whereas infants are recommended the RSV vaccine. Learn more about how to protect your family with immunizations

Choose an Open Setting 

When you’re at an event inside, virus particles can build up in those contained spaces. The CDC recommends preventing the spread of COVID-19 and other highly contagious viruses by moving the fun outdoors. 

If your party is during the cold months and cannot occur outside, consider putting space between the tables. Germs can travel several feet when you’re talking, coughing, or sneezing. 

Find different ways to spread out the party by allowing guests to utilize different rooms and areas. 

Buy Cupcakes 

For many of us, eating birthday cake is the main party event. Before you grab a slice, consider the impact of blowing out candles. 

One study found 15 times more bacteria on the icing when the candles were blown out in comparison to ones not blown out. 

When your little one makes their birthday wish, use a cupcake or mini cake to blow out candles. This minimizes the spread of bacteria and prevents a virus breakout. 

Keep it Clean

Remember to continually sanitize high-touched areas such as doorknobs, faucets, light switches, and countertops.

Clean and sanitize your child’s toys before and after the party, as well. Bacteria are easily spread when kids are playing together, but routine cleaning can prevent illnesses.

Looking for more cold and flu prevention tips? Check these out: 

Next celebration, implement these tips to prevent a cold or flu outbreak amongst your friends and family.

A clear nose means better sleep.

The Nozebot is a battery-powered suction device designed to clear nasal congestion in babies and children.

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