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Protecting Your Child From Infections

Table of Contents


Topic Overview

Disease-causing germs spread anytime large numbers of people are together or when people share items. Germs spread more easily during the colder months, because people spend a lot of time indoors around one another. Close and frequent contact with others makes it easier for germs to spread.

Immunizations help protect your child from vaccine-preventable infections. Most are given as shots. They:

You can also practice the following basic hygiene and preventive measures to help prevent illness.

Basic hygiene at home, day care, or school

It's impossible to protect your child from all contagious illnesses. But you can teach healthy habits to help reduce your child's risk of infections. Teach your child:

Children younger than age 2 need a caregiver's help to prevent the spread of germs. Wash your child's hands frequently, and disinfect shared toys. If your child attends day care, closely review the policies regarding sick children and hygiene issues.

If your child becomes ill, keep him or her out of day care and away from other children until the contagious period has passed. If you are unsure about how long this should be, contact your doctor.

Keep your child away from secondhand smoke. Smoke irritates the mucous membranes in your child's nose, sinuses, and lungs, making infections more likely.

Basic hygiene in other public areas

When in a public area, such as an airport or restaurant, be aware of the risk of exposure to germs that can make you and your child ill.


Credits for Protecting Your Child From Infections

Current as of: July 1, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
John Pope MD - Pediatrics
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Elizabeth T. Russo MD - Internal Medicine


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