Cut Down On Play Dates
While you don't have much control over contact with other kids at school, you do have control of their after-school activities. One defense you have is limiting play dates. Colds are usually gone within a few days, but kids are usually contagious before they even have symptoms. It's hard to know who's carrying a cold virus and who's not. While it may seem extreme, putting play dates on hold reduces the risk of exposing your child to germs.
Don't Bring The Germs Home
We try to teach our children to share, but during cold and flu season, encourage your children not to use other children's toys, eating utensils or clothing. While we can't be at school to monitor their every move, remind your kids not to touch other children's belongings and to not let other children to touch their things. The fewer germs kids bring home, the lower the risk of germs taking up residence in your kids' playroom.
Daily Wipe Down
Keep a close watch on all the toys your kids are into right now and wipe those down with a disinfectant daily. While you have the cleaning supplies out, wipe down all the other places your kids touch as well (door knobs, drawer handles, light switches); things you and your children handle without thinking. It won't eliminate the germs, but it will reduce your kids' chances of getting sick. It's also a good idea to have washable rugs because carpets and rugs are germ hotspots. You don't have to plan a new interior design for your kids' playroom, but washing the rugs during cold and flu season is another way to reduce the spread of germs.
Your kids know how to blow their noses, but it does little good if they're not disposing of their tissues properly. Cold and flu germs can live outside the body for two days or more, so make sure to put a box of tissues next to every wastebasket. This gives kids a place to immediately dispose of their dirty tissues and isolate germs that can cause a cold or the flu.