Healthy Habits to Prevent the Flu


By Rachel Wells

Cold and flu season is unfortunately still going strong. No one wants to see family members, friends, students, or colleagues get sick, which is why it is so important to take simple precautions to not only help stay healthy, but avoid spreading illness to others.

Each year there are millions of cases of the common cold and flu in the United States. Common colds and the flu are the main reasons why children miss school and adults miss work.

Simple things like keeping your distance from people who are sick, staying home when you are ill, covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze and cough, washing your hands, and practicing healthy habits, can all help keep you and those around you healthy.

Keep Your Distance

Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of a cold or flu.  

Stay Home

Yes it stinks, but if you or your child are feeling sick – stay home! This will help make sure you don’t spread germs to those around you.  

Cover Your Mouth and Nose

One of the simplest ways to stop the spread of germs.

These free printable “Cover Your Cough” posters can be hung in your school, office, or home.

Wash Your Hands – A Lot!

The most important thing you can do is wash your hands regularly and thoroughly!  According to the CDC website, you should follow these 5 simple steps each and every time you wash your hands:

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
Check out this post from the CDC for more information about proper hand washing.  

Practice Other Healthy Habits

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean surfaces regularly.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Eat healthy foods.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Stay active.

More Resources:


Videos for Kids:

How Germs Spread

How to Wash Your Hands Properly  

Helpful Links:

How to Talk with Kids about COVID-19

COVID-19 What Parents Need to Know

CDC “3 Actions to Fight the Flu” Printable Poster

CDC Actions to Prevent the Flu – Includes questions to ask your workplace or child’s school.

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