You can help stop cold and flu season in its tracks by helping your child learn to take a hands-free approach to hygiene. In other words, teach your little one to cough and sneeze into the crook of the elbow instead of into the hand.
Here's why: If your child blocks a sneeze with his hands, the germs then spread to anything he touches -- desks, chairs and pencils -- and they can remain contagious for several hours.And it doesn't take much of a sneeze to start the spread of germs. Just one "achoo" releases thousands of infectious droplets into the air. It's no wonder scientists estimate that about 80 percent of infections are transmitted by hand!
Finally, make sure your whole family does the elbow sneeze all year long -- not just during cold and flu season -- to remind your child to follow suit.
You can help make this stay-healthy strategy a habit by designating a "sneeze spot" on your kid's sleeve with a sticker. But why is the elbow the safest spot to catch a cough? Unlike the hand, it doesn't touch much of anything.