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Preventing Germs: The Odds Are Against You

While trying to prevent germs from infecting the rest of the family is a noble goal, remember that the odds are against you. Even if you’re careful, once a virus is in the house, it’s very hard to contain.

“When one of my kids gets sick, I always try to prevent it from spreading to the other,” says Altmann. “But three out of four times, the other one gets it anyway.”

Frenck agrees. “Remember that with a lot of these diseases, you’re contagious before you even have any symptoms,” he tells WebMD. Even if you take every possible precaution the moment you notice that your baby is feverish, it may already be too late. So don’t beat yourself up if you’re unable to prevent germs from spreading in your home.

“Parents aren’t being bad parents if their kids get colds, or ear infections, or diarrhea,” says Frenck. “It just happens.”

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