A lot of parents are worried about the recent cases of Swine Flu, but the flu can usually be prevented with a few easy steps. I follow them religiously and have not had the flu since the 1980s (and I never get the vaccination), and my children, 16 and 10 have never had the flu. I simply follow the Center for Disease Control’s recommendations (they also work to prevent other bugs).

How to Stop the Spread of Germs

In a nutshell: take care to

* Cover your mouth and nose
* Clean your hands often
* Remind your children to practice healthy habits, too

Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing

Cough or sneeze into a tissue and then throw it away. Cover your cough or sneeze if you do not have a tissue. Then, clean your hands, and do so every time you cough or sneeze.

The “Happy Birthday” song helps keep your hands clean?

Not exactly. Yet we recommend that when you wash your hands — with soap and warm water — that you wash for 15 to 20 seconds. That’s about the same time it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice!

Alcohol-Based Hand Wipes and Gel Sanitizers Work Too

When soap and water are not available, alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers may be used. You can find them in most supermarkets and drugstores. If using gel, rub your hands until the gel is dry. The gel doesn’t need water to work; the alcohol in it kills the germs on your hands.*

That is all I have ever done to prevent the flu, and I swear that it works.

And here is the link to the CDC’s information page on the Swine Flu.