Now It's Your Kid's Turn!
If she's 4 or older, find out whether your child has a clue about cold and flu with this True/False mini-quiz.
1. When you sneeze or cough, you should always cover your mouth with your hand.
False. Colds are spread by tiny droplets that get on your hand and then on whatever you touch. They may be "alive" even six hours later. It's rare that germs float through the air to infect someone. So cough into a tissue (and throw it away pronto), the crook of your elbow, or your shoulder.
2. Washing hands is important, but it's okay to skip the drying part.
Nope! Germs are more easily spread from one person to another if your hands are wet. So, even though you scrubbed with soap, be sure to dry your hands thoroughly!
3. When I tell you to wear a hat and boots if it's cold outside, you don't really have to because all parents say stuff like that.
Not so. If your body is chilled, it may not be strong enough to fight off a cold or flu bug. Wearing a hat, warm coat, and even boots can keep you healthier.
4. It's okay to take a little sip from my friend's water bottle even if she has a cold.
Not so fast... Sharing is important, but not when it comes to colds. If a friend is sick, don't drink from her water bottle or straw and don't share forks, spoons, or towels.
Originally published in the October 2012 issue of Parents magazine.