Few things can dampen your vacation like a cold. When you're sniffling and sneezing and your throat is sore, the Grand Canyon may not seem all that grand. Most of us know that one of the best prevention methods is to wash your hands frequently, but, alas, many scrub for too short a time to do that much good. Consumer Reports' On Health newsletter suggests that to ensure you're washing long enough, you follow the example of many health professionals: When you start scrubbing, begin singing "Happy Birthday," and keep washing until you finish the song. But sing it to yourself, OK? Otherwise you may find that your vacation companions are few.
Richard C. Carpenter, Globe Correspondent