How are Germs Spread?
Flu germs are released into the air when an infected person sneezes, but they can also be spread by touch, either directly or via a surface.
Norovirus is spread through close contact, eating food prepared by an infected person, or touching contaminated surfaces or object.
How Can I Avoid Becoming Unwell?
To avoid becoming sick, always practice good hygiene. Try these tips daily:
Be sure you follow the above tips daily, even if no one in your family is showing sign of illness. It may not be apparent if one of your kids has already been exposed to a virus or infection, because the flu incubation period can last up to four days. This means that symptoms may not be apparent immediately after exposure.
What if a Family Member or I Get Sick?
If someone in your family is already sick, prevent spreading the illness using the tips above. Additionally, try "quarantining" the sick person. If possible, have her sleep in a room alone and make sure other family members stay away (except for you, Mom; someone needs to take care of the sickies). Wash clothes and bedding in very hot water, and make sure a sick person doesn't reuse tissues. A new clean tissue should be used for each sniffle. If you're sick, have someone else in the family prepare meals. Norovirus germs in particular can spread very quickly, so be sure to stay vigilant about reducing germ exposure.
A sick person should get plenty of rest and lots of fluids (keep in mind that dehydration is more dangerous and can occur more rapidly in children). It is usually best for sickies to stay at home while suffering from a contagious illness, not only to aid recovery, but to reduce the spread of germs.
Be sure to check in with a pediatrician or physician when a family member is sick.