Monday, March 5, 2012

National Survey Unveils How Moms Survive a Sick Day

Survey finds American moms use tea and humidifiers as natural remedies first; "Love Actually" beats out "Dirty Dancing" as mom's favorite sick day movie

When your spouse is sick, do you quarantine the bedroom and avoid contact? If yes, you're not alone – 43% of American moms say that they avoid hugging and kissing altogether and 10% report that they sleep on the couch when a spouse is sick. These findings come from a new survey, underwritten by the makers of Vicks® branded Humidifiers, which asked moms how they treat – and beat – a cold. The survey also indicates that when it comes to treating a cold the top five natural remedies moms use are tea, orange juice, chicken soup, lots of water, and humidifiers. Portable humidifiers, in addition to loosening congestion and soothing coughs, have been found in recent studies to reduce the survival of flu viruses on surfaces and in the air when maintaining an indoor humidity level between 40-60%.*

For moms always on-the-go, relaxation or "me time" was a common trend uncovered in the survey. According to moms, classic movies and a good book are top activities to get through a cold or the flu. Moms ranked movies like "Love Actually," "Dirty Dancing" and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" as their top three choices to watch when sick. Keeping their kids healthy is also a top priority for moms. The number one thing mothers report doing to prep kids for cold and flu season is explaining how to properly wash hands. Furthermore, results indicate that more education is needed in using a humidifier in a child's room, especially considering the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using one to relieve coughs and congestion.
The moms were also surveyed on the validity of common cold and flu season advice; the results of which were:
  • 85% of moms thought that you lose the most body heat from the head, which is false. In truth, you do not lose more body heat through your head but it may feel that way because your face is more sensitive to temperature than other areas.
  • 72% of moms thought that they should rest, not exercise, when ill, which is false. In fact, you do need to rest, but a little exercise might help you feel better.
  • 49% of moms thought that you should cover your mouth with your hands when you cough or sneeze, which is false. To stop the spread of germs, use a tissue or, if one is not available, cough and sneeze into your inner elbow.
  • 40% of moms thought that you feed a cold and starve a fever, which is false. In truth, you should stay hydrated and eat well, no matter what your symptoms.
  • 38% of moms thought you should not go outside with wet hair, which is false. In reality, exposure to viruses – not wet hair – causes cold and flu.
To learn more about Vicks humidifiers and other facts from the survey, visit

*A study by Environmental Health and Engineering (Environmental Health 2010, 9:55) shows that keeping indoor air at an RH level of 40-60% can reduce survival of flu viruses on surfaces and in the air compared to lower RH levels. When used as directed, most humidifiers or vaporizers can achieve and maintain 40-60% RH levels.

About the Survey
The survey, underwritten by Vicks Humidifiers, was conducted by Lindberg International and the findings are based on responses from a random sampling of approximately 501 women with children living at home across the United States via an online survey. The margin of error is 4.4%. 

About Kaz
A world leader in high quality healthcare and home environment products, Kaz is a state of the art, dynamically-managed, global leader in healthcare devices and home comfort products that operates in over 65 countries on six continents with a brand portfolio that includes Vicks, Honeywell, Braun, SoftHeat, SmartTemp, and more. Kaz USA, Inc is a wholly owned subsidiary of Helen of Troy Limited (NASDAQ: HELE). For more information about Helen of Troy Limited, please visit For information on other quality products for home health, home comfort and insect control visit

VICKS and other related marks are owned by The Procter & Gamble Company. The Vicks trademark is used by Kaz USA, Inc. under license from The Procter & Gamble Company, Cincinnati, OH USA.

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