Sniffle. Sneeze. Can You Pass a Tissue, Please?IN CHILDREN'S HEALTH
Tips to Prevent Colds and the Flu
The following are proven ways to reduce your child's risk of coming down with a cold or the flu, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (www.fda.gov).
Get vaccinated. The flu shot is one of the best ways to prevent the flu. In most cases, antibodies in the vaccine provide protection within three weeks of injection. However, if your child is younger than age 9 and hasn't been previously vaccinated, his or her physician may recommend two doses of the vaccine given a month apart to ensure protection.
Scrub, scrub, scrub. To reduce the spread of germs, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov) suggests that children and adults scrub their hands several times a day, especially after coughing or sneezing, for at least 15 seconds using warm water and soap.
Disinfect. Parents should make sure to clean and disinfect (one part bleach to 10 parts water) all surfaces with which a child comes in contact when sick. These may include bedposts, sinks, bed sheets, television remotes, and utensils.
Limit exposure to sick people. Avoiding large groups of people or individuals you know are sick can significantly lower your child's risk of catching colds or the flu. Limited exposure is especially important for premature infants who may have weakened immune systems.