A Giveaway from Softsoap – CLOSED

photo source: D Sharon Pruitt

This week on LifeasMOM is all about Loving Life — finding ways to help each of us enjoy life a little more. And one way to enjoy life more is to stay well.

No brainer, eh? Anybody who’s been ill in the last month or two knows that sickness can just sap your strength and all the joy out of life.

I’ve had friends battling the flu recently, and my heart goes out to them as I recall that feeling of “death warmed over.” Last month our entire family was down for an entire week with the Headcold of the Century. While it was “just a cold,” I was amazed at how terribly bad we all felt.

Suffice it to say, being sick stinks.

One way to combat illness is with good hand washing.

Softsoap brand has teamed up with the American Public Health Association (APHA) to create unique “Get Ready” hand washing timers that easily attach directly to Softsoap brand soap pumps. When pressed, the timers play a fun song to help children stay engaged for a full 20 seconds to properly wash away germs. Pair these fun hand washing timers with the Softsoap Foam Works Spongebob and Dora the Explorer Hand Soaps, and children are sure to be excited to spend at least 20 seconds washing their hands!

The timers are actually pretty amazing. However, my girls loved theirs so much, that they swiped the timer off the bottle of soap and started playing it all over the house. So, please set some ground rules about the use of the timer or you might just go batty.

This week 5 LifeasMOM readers (sorry, US only) will win a bottle of Softsoap and a handy-dandy timer.

Simply leave a comment on this post, sharing one of your tricks for preventing or treating colds and flu.

Comments will be accepted until 8 pm, PST on Sunday, February 13. Winner will notified via email and has 48 hours to respond in order to claim the prize.

This giveaway is now closed. Congrats to winners:

Disclosure: I received Softsoap and timers for review purposes.

This week is all about Loving Life. Check out the wealth of ideas for making the most of every minute.

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  1. Vicks Vapor Rub! In the humidifer, on our feet and chests or I like to put it on kleenex and put it under my pillow. Also love the Puffs with Vicks! Just makes you feel better when you have a cold!

  2. Lots and lots of hand sanitizier

  3. Don’t share drinks- everyone should have their own, kids seem to think that their friends won’t give them that cold!

  4. I have my children wash their hand’s EVERY hour, regardless of what they have done or are doing. Also, if they have a cold, I use the humidifier in their bedroom to keep them from getting/staying congested.

  5. I make sure we are all keeping up with our vitamins and fish oil. We also don’t get out much as I have an 8 month old son. So, our time spent around germs is limited right now. I also wash their hands all the time and use Burt’s Bees hand sanitizer.

  6. Washing hands is our trick!

  7. MrsSmith327 says:

    Well what I do when the signs of flu/cold comes to our home is I scrub everything and everyone in site. There is nothing safe, no surface unsanitized, no clothing unwashed or at least thrown into the dryer. Alas we still get the cold at times, but thankfully it’s more controlled than in the past.

  8. First of all let me say, HAHAHAHAHA. They swiped the timer? I’m glad I’m not the only person something like that would happen to! Yes, ground rules would be a definite. We don’t do any one thing in particular. We do emphasize handwashing in our house….in fact my oldest’s name is Paige Washyourhands. Good luck to everyone!

  9. LOTS and LOTS of hand washing in our house!

  10. Catherine Prewett says:

    I have used a shopping cart cover since my daughter was old enough to sit in the cart. As well as making it comfier it keeps away some of the nasty germies lurking on the cart handle!

  11. washing hands is #1 thing we do around here!

  12. We all wash our hands the minute we walk in the house. Not just our house but anyone’s house. Wash before meals, after sneezing you know the usual! We have been blessed with no flu’s or major colds in our house in over 5 years! WOOHOO!!!

  13. Michelle P. says:

    Sneezing and coughing into your elbow or a tissue are key!!! Hand washing. I also always always make sure that any clothing from daycare is washed and not reworn.

  14. Because I have a newborn, we are staying in the house as much as possible and far away from crowds.

  15. as soon as my older kids get home from school I have them wash their hands. My middle girl has asthma so we run humidifiers all winter long in our house. *knock on wood* we seem to stay pretty healthy!

  16. We homeschool, so (knock on wood!) our kids are exposed to fewer germs. We also get flu shots and wash hands frequently.

  17. We wash hands a lot at our house, but my kids forget to do it long enough. We also use hand sanitizer before eating when we are at a restaurant. Also, we use anti-bacterial wipes when we get back in the car after being in a “public” place.

  18. we get lots of vit c and healthy foods

  19. This is one time of year that I am *really* grateful that we homeschool simply because it limits the germ exposure! We wash hands often and the kiddos all know to “cough into your elbow” 🙂

  20. I’m a teacher, and when I grade papers, I make sure that I use hand sanitizer or wash my hands right after I’m finished grading! I also use disinfectant wipes on any pens I find in the floor!

  21. I use Clorox wipes a lot and I try to offer my kids lots of good things to eat-apples and oranges to help keep them healthy.

  22. Georgeann W says:

    We cough in our arm and try to stay away from those that are sick.

  23. Our germ fighting rule is everyone uses hand santizer when we get back into the car, get ready to eat, or keep it on my desk.

  24. Vitamins and water

  25. Sally Mcquaid says:

    lots of handwashing.

  26. With older kids like mine, I think it’s really important that they get enough rest, down-time and sleep every night. It seems the only time they get sick is when they pushed themselves too hard.

  27. We sing songs while we wash to make it fun and it helps us wash for 20 seconds.

  28. i make sure to wash their hands and when they sneezing either cough into their elbows or turn their head away from people. if they do end up with a cold i just give them so medicine and that usually takes it away

  29. sleep. when we are sick in our house sleep is the best thing we can do.

  30. Jennifer Foutch says:

    Lots of orange juice.

  31. sleep and plenty of it

  32. I try to keep the kids eating well and washing their hands frequently.

  33. As a nurse I am used to a bottle of downward dispensing sanitizing foam outside if each room. I do the same at home. I bring them out and place them strategically when someone gets sick. The kids likening novelty of it and use it often!!

  34. Well, as an RN, I just stick with the old nursing school principles of handwashing, hand sanitizer, and coughing/sneezing into your elbow.:)

  35. Heather In Michigan says:

    Plenty of sleep! Everyone gets to bed a little earlier and naps are encouraged- for mom, too!

  36. Clorox Wipes and Lysol spray!!
    Hand washing , daily sheet laundry,and vitamin C…

    I am soooooooo ready for Spring and to air out the house!

  37. No sugar, garlic, olive leaf, goldenseal, vitamins, vicks on feet, and whatever else I can do to avoid it!

  38. About once a month, we take antibacterial wipes and wipe down faucets, handles, doorknobs, remote controls, keyboards, anything in a room that everyone touches daily. Since we started doing this, it has cut our illness rate in half.

  39. Vitamins and handwashing!

  40. handwashing here!

  41. We wash our hands when we come in from outside.

  42. Lots of vitamin C. The boys love to drink Ester C drinks.

  43. We do tons of hand washing, too, especially if anybody even has so much as a sniffle or tickly throat.

  44. When we are sick, I like to get outside in the fresh air – going on a walk in the stroller or playing in our yard. Being outside in the sun at least makes me feel better.

  45. Lots of hand washing and orange juice.

  46. We wash our hands all the time. And we make to cough or sneeze in our elbow or a tissue.

  47. We wash hands singing the alphabet song or some other fun song to keep the washing going on long enough.

  48. Every couple of days, I go around and spray all the door handles, light switches and buttons with lysol and my kids help me wipe things down.

  49. We don’t share drinks here either–not even among immediately family members. Why guarantee that if one of us gets sick, all of us will? And lots of hand washing!!

  50. my trick is to have my mother come over and watch all my kids while I lay on the couch….for real, that’s what we did yesterday when I had a fever and cold!

  51. Lots of handwashing and plenty of fluids and sleep.

  52. We never eat at buffets.

  53. We wash our hands alot, and especially after coming home from somewhere!

  54. We just use the old-fashioned wash your hands (over and over and over!) Oh, and we constantly have to tell our daughters: Keep your fingers out of your nose!!!

  55. I rub down the lunch boxes EVERYDAY with a chlorox wipe…including the handles! And I wash out their reusable water bottles too! Also, I remind them to cough or sneeze into their elbows or hands!

  56. I so understand hating being sick, what’s worse is when mom gets it in the end you’re so exhausted from taking care of everyone else it’s ten times worse. Hand washing and clorox wipes from door handles, light switches and surfaces are a must here. We recently went through a flu virus that kept cycling for 3-4 weeks, down 3-4 days and okay for 1-2 then on again, it was insane and viral so there was nothing we could take.

  57. Washing hands and drinking a lot of Orange juice !

  58. To be honest we are generally a VERY healthy family and I really don’t do anything special to keep us healthy. We actually probably wash our hands much LESS than others! We believe in getting fresh air, even in winter, my girls love to be outside. None of us take vitamins reguarly either. I really believe it’s just a matter of luck if you tend to get sick or not 🙂 Both of my girls (K and 4th grade) last year had perfect attendance.

  59. I do believe, like Joann, in the OJ thing! As soon as I feel a cold coming on I make sure to drink a couple glasses-I swear it helps 80% of the time!

  60. We wash hand often and actually spend time around other people to build tolerance. Thanks for the giveaway!

  61. Jen Fitzpatrick says:

    I’m constantly reminding everyone to scrub their hands, replacing hand towels and doing a lot of laundry to keep up with the towels! Lots of work, but soooo worth it if we’re not all down at once or at all!

  62. I actually think regular application of hand lotion after hand washing helps with the staying healthy thing, too — it seems to create a barrier level. At least that’s what I tell myself.

  63. Washing hands and lots of purell is what I use.

  64. My family makes fun of me that if they don’t move fast I may wipe them down with a Clorax wipe 🙂

  65. Wash hands

  66. Vitamins, vitamins & Airborne!

  67. This year I feel as though I am not aloud to give advice because no matter what I do to prevent my family from getting sick,we still get sick :(. LOL It is our oldest daughters first year of preschool and we had not had our whole family well for an entire week this winter…ahh. SPRING WHERE ARE YOU?????

    • @Brandy,

      When my oldest started daycare, she was sick all the time. What’s worse is she brought it home to us as well. But it built her immune system and now she rarely gets sick.

  68. I have one child sick with the flu right now — and the others are trying desperately to stay well! So far so good (4 days)! They have been taking Vitamin C, Vitamin D-3, Garlic, Elderberry and Echinacea, and Coconut Oil round the clock! they call them their Vitavegamins!! (I Love Lucy!) LOL!

  69. always wash your hands

  70. I tell my kids to sing ABCs twice while washing their hands.

  71. We spray lysol on frequently touched surfaces to help kill the germs.

  72. hand wash, use purell when we get in the car from the grocery store, homeschool 🙂 and take vitamins

  73. Lysol and Purell are my best friends

  74. Connie Corey says:

    Regular application of multi vitamins to the boys, and a muti vitamin and extra Vitamin C for hubby and I!

  75. Sleep, water, and vitamins. Usually getting an ample amount of each seems to keep the germies away.

  76. Lots of handwashig, plenty of sleep and liquids and lysol on the really germy areas.

  77. vitamins, emergen-c, and teaching the littles to wash hands well

  78. wash hands and alcohol gel often helps to prevent germs

  79. Handwashing, handwashing, handwashing….that is the key.

  80. we do hand sanitizer and coughing and sneezing into the inside of our elbows!

  81. Don’t share drinks – someone else said it but it’s so true!


    Every morning I literally wipe the entire kitchen down with lysol clorox wipes to kill germs and also spray the lyson sanitizing spray generously all over the place. It makes me feel a little more comfortable in knowing that since my son is 2 and puts everything in his mouth, it is somewhat clean and germ free!


    everymorning i completely wipe down everything within reach with lysol clorox wipes (including the floor!) as a way to prevent the spread of germs. I am a little OCD about it but it must be working because no one in my entire family has gotten sick this winter!

  84. We make sure we all get plenty of sleep, eat healthy meals, and use hand sanitizer frequently if we are unable to wash our hands with soap and water.

  85. We make sure our children always wash their hands when we come home from somewhere/public place.

  86. We wash our hands frequently, eat healthy, get our flu shots, get plenty of rest, and stay away from people who are obviously sick.

  87. I drink Emergen-C daily to ward off colds/flus. Works pretty well for the most part.

  88. We stay home as much as possible or playdates w/ trusted hand washing friends

  89. We change our clothes after being out in a crowd ( per our doctor’s suggestion) and wash our hands as soon as we walk in the door. I also limit sugar. I would love one of those timers….I have trouble getting my kids to do more than a quick rinse!

  90. Sheila Bailey says:

    We use hand sanitizer after leaving any store and I tell the kids to keep their hands out of their mouths (no finger licking). We also get flu shots.

  91. Chicken soup–preferably homemade!

  92. Lots of citrus fruits in the winter, wash hands as soon as we come in from school or stores.

  93. I know I shouldn’t even have to do this, but I’m emphasizing NOT coughing all over other people’s food or work area. I know, YUCK.

  94. Take your vitamins! Eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies! Those are two of my major themes.

    I’m dealing with a cold right now, for the first time in a long time, and it’s amazing how you forget how unpleasant it is.

    I’ve been using Vit. C and Yarrow tea, and I’ve really been impressed, if I stay on top of taking them, I really do feel pretty decent! 🙂

  95. just the basics – wash hands, sneeze or cough into elbow not hands, and of course lysol and changing the hand towel in the bathroom daily when anyone is sick does reduce the spread!

  96. Katie Bauer says:

    In our house we wash our hands a lot. We also try to keep hydrated with water and juice.

  97. Washing hands and Emergen-C

  98. I drink orange juice every morning.

  99. We are huge on hand washing, especially when we come home (from school or the store…or really anywhere). Also, making sure we wash before we eat…wherever that may be. A case of MRSA was just reported in my girls school district. This reminds us all to scrub. Oh, and sanitizer everywhere we go too.

  100. Heather Abbott says:

    Vicks Vapor Rub on the bottom of your feet helps with a cough every time!! It seemed like an old wives tale the first time I heard it, but was amazed at how well it works. Our daily vitamin seems to be our biggest prevention this winter though!

  101. handwashing

  102. lots of hand washing, hand sanitizer using and limiting cup/food/utensil sharing (easier said than done!)

  103. hand santizer is my best friend!

  104. We get flu shots and don’t share food or drinks.

  105. We wash our hands often & get the flu shot!

  106. We wash our hands regularly. When we do go out, I use sanitizing wipes on the grocery cart and sanitize our hands when we get back in the car. Also, when we go out to eat, anything that hits the table is tossed. Yes restaurants wipe the tables with sanitizing solution, but sometimes its made once a day, then used all night. Ugh!

    When someone does get sick, we quarantine them and they get waited on, usually by me. This way we cut down on possibility of it spreading.

  107. We use Purell!

  108. I take a towel and some disinfectant and wipe down all the doorknobs, handles, and other areas of the house to kill the germs. I also make sure the kids wash their hands.

  109. I use clorox wipes and wipe door knobs and refrigerator door handles etc to prevent the spread of germs.

  110. Washing hands and I am the Lysol Queen!! 🙂

  111. Rebecca W. says:

    We wash our hands often, especially when we get home from somewhere.

  112. Lots of hand washing. The standard rule is you have to wash your hands before going to bed!

  113. We wash our hands while singing ‘The Hand Washing Song.’ Also, practicing sneezing and coughing into our elbows.

  114. Getting extra rest helps keep us healthy! Thx

  115. Taking vitamin D every day is supposed to be just as effective as the flu shot for preventing the flu. Actually, we don’t do vaccines–especially the flu shot–so we definitely opt for the vitamin D instead! Another thing that is really easy to do and kills bacteria even better than bleach without all the harmful vapors is this: Get two spray bottles–one filled with vinegar and one with hydrogen peroxide. It doesn’t matter which order you use them in. Spray door knobs and light switch plates with either the peroxide or the vinegar and leave it on for at least 30 seconds or so. Wipe it off and spray with the other and leave it on for 30 seconds or so. Then wipe it off too. This can also be used on countertops, refrigerator door or microwave door handles, etc., to get rid of those germs!

  116. kelly ringle says:

    Washing hands!! I know everyone loves the hand sanitizers but I am a true believer in the old fashion handwashing. I also believe that a little exposure is good too. I want my kids to have an immune system that can stun a squirrel in the backyard. 🙂 So we do not over do it with the sanitizers.

  117. Ingoring our single-never-married M.D., who advises that My Wonderful Husband and I sleep in separate beds when one of us is sick! 🙂

  118. Besides hand washing, we wipe down common surfaces such as light switches and fridge handles daily with a disinfectant. We get a new toothbrush after each illness, and the ill person’s toothbrush is quarantined from the others until replaced with a new one.

  119. Our try to keep aways the germs by carrying small bottles of hand sanitizers on my purse and on the baby’s diaper bag.

  120. Washing hands and taking vitamins!

  121. We wash our hands, use the sanitizer wipes on the cart at Walmart, and try eat healthy and exercise. I really do believe those last two make a difference.

  122. We try to get enough sleep and sneeze in our elbows.

  123. Wash hands, clean sheets and pillow cases, avoid crowded public areas and hand sanitizer for Hubby at work!

  124. I spray the kids, mine, (and get my husband to spray his if I can) noses with saline. Especially after we’ve been out around others or when one kid starts to get sick. They aren’t too fond of it, but we’re all less fond of getting sick.

  125. Handwashing, handwashing and more handwashing. Coughing into the crook of the arm. Lots of Lysol. Washing the sheets. Trading out the toothbrushes.

  126. Tammy Lindner says:

    We do a lot of handwashing in this family of five plus a lot of vitamin C. Thanks for the chance to win!

  127. Daily vitamins and good handwashing

  128. Jeni Warren says:

    We use a lot of handwashing and have a hand santizer in various rooms of the house. I spray quite often around the house. clean, clean, clean!!!!!!

  129. We tried washing and washing and washing last week, but got “it” anyways, so now we are on to humidifiers and soft tissues 🙂

  130. Michelle D says:

    Lots of hand washing, vics and lysol and lysol wipes are a must!

  131. Being really mindful of hand washing – when the boys come through the door from school before they get a snack, or after we’ve been shaking hands at church.

  132. Christy A. says:

    My tricks for preventing colds or flue is washing hands often and having hand sanitizer on hand when washing can’t be done.

  133. always keep Puffs nearby

  134. Our baby’s still in the put-everything-in-your-mouth stage, so I use hand sanitizer to wipe things he’ll come in contact with.

  135. Carrie Phelps says:

    This is easy; I was my hands a lot!!

  136. A chore I have my 8 year old daughter do once a week is spray all the door knobs with lysol. She loves it she thinks she’s helping and understands the importance of staying clean and healthy. And since my 2 year old is obsessed with playing with water we’ve made a game out of it, anytime someone leaves the bathroom door open, my 2 year old screams “Wash Your Hands!!” and we all run to the bathroom to wash our hands just to make it a little fun.

  137. We try to wash and sanitize our hands as much as possible.

  138. I always use babywipes on hands after we get in the van from a store or anywhere else we have been.

  139. The main thing we do at home to help prevent germs (let’s face it, there is no way to completely stop the little buggers from getting in) is to cover all coughs and sneezes using our elbows instead of hand.

  140. Dawn Taylor says:

    We sash our hand a lot! Also, I keep all our door handles & nobs extra clean and we never wear shoes in the house!

  141. monica baker says:

    hand sanitizer

  142. A simple way to prevent colds and flu is to load up on a lot of fresh fruits and veggies to boost that immune system. And not skipping the handwash 🙂

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