Disease-causing germs spread any time large numbers of
people are together or when they 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
Practice the following basic hygiene and preventive
measures to help prevent illness.
Basic hygiene practices in 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.
- Avoid people with an obvious illness (such as a
person who is coughing or sneezing).
- Don't be afraid to tell
others, especially those you don't know, not to touch your young child or
- Do not let your child eat, or touch his or her mouth, eyes,
or nose, until his or her hands are thoroughly washed with soap and
- Make sure your utensils, table, and general eating area are
- If your child is in day care, make sure
good hygiene practices are followed. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) has established guidelines for these facilities, including
regular sanitation of facilities and toys, sanitary food preparation, proper
bathroom procedures and cleaning, and procedures for when children become ill.
Try to avoid public areas in
certain situations. For example, your doctor may recommend keeping
your newborn or child with health problems away from large crowds during
outbreaks of disease.