What parents can do to prevent germs

AOL.com Editors

The average child gets between six and ten colds a year — now, that’s a lot of sick days!

Especially with the colder weather and holiday travel around the corner, keeping your kids healthy and away from the threat of flu season should be a priority for all parents. However, that requires much more than reminding them to wash their hands after using the bathroom.

"This is no small task when we consider classrooms full of germy, coughy, sneezing little people," Dr. Karen Latimer explained to AOL. "Prevention is the best defense."

We caught up with the mom of five to learn her best tips on minimizing the spread of germs around school and at home. Keep reading to get all of Dr. Latimer's tips for a sick-free school year.

1. Make sure your children's immunizations are up to date.

2. Teach your kids proper handwashing techniques. Scrub hands after being outside, sneezing, coughing and after using the bathroom with warm water for 20 seconds. They should also be sure to wash their hands before eating,

3. If parents are able to, donating supplies like tissues and hand sanitizer to their child's classroom can limit the spread of germs.

4. Water fountains are common areas for trapping and spreading germs. Teach your children to drink without touching their mouths to the spigot. Another alternative is sending them to school with a water bottle.

It's important to remember that even following these tips won't completely eradicate the spread of germs, but they will definitely help reduce it.

"Germs and kids go hand-in-hand and this is unavoidable," Latimer tells parents. "You don't have to keep your kid home for every runny nose -- however, if your child has a rash or a fever, a sore throat or an unexplained headache, he or she should stay home until symptoms are clear for at least 24 hours or they've been checked by a doctor.

For more tips, watch the video above!

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