girl washing handsGerms are inevitable. They are everywhere. On every table and door knob, grocery cart and light switch. Since they are so prevalent, it’s impossible to really avoid them. During cold and flu season, when the chill has settled and driven us inside and in close proximity to each other for months at a time, the likelihood of germ contact increases. While ditching any and all germs is impossible, there are some measures parents can take to do everything in their power to avoid boogers, soar throats and the dreaded stomach flu that supplies every family with at least one epic puke story. Here are three ways to help your kids stay as germ free as they can this winter. 

Teach Proper Hand Washing Techniques

Washing your hands properly is the number one way to stop germs from getting into your body. The bare minimum requirements for clean hands are 20 or more Mississippi seconds of actual scrubbing with soap and warm water. Try singing a couple short songs to make it fun and make sure you’re washing for long enough to dislodge and rinse away dirt and anything on your hands that’ll make you sick. 

Teach Your Kids How to Sneeze

When we sneeze into the open air, droplets of spit and mucus spray out and hang in the air for several minutes. When someone else breathes in those tiny germ filled particles, they can get sick with whatever sickness is making you sneeze.  Likewise, if we sneeze into our hands and then touch surfaces those germs get transferred and can make other people ill. Teaching children to sneeze into a tissue or into their inner elbow instead of into the air or their hand can stop a lot of germs from being shared.

Embrace the Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer frequently gets mixed reviews but when hot soapy water aren’t an option, hand sanitizer is the next best thing. While it won’t do much to get actual dirt and grime off your hands it does neutralize the germs that make you sick.