It’s impossible to completely protect your kids from germs during the cold and flu season but there are things you can do that will help. Representing TriCounty Health on the topic, local school nurse Ashley Harrison says that the best way to make sure your child’s immune system is running at its best is to make sure they are getting plenty of sleep, good exercise, and nutritious food. Harrison acknowledges that it can be difficult to get kids to bed but that it is worth the effort because it is not only important for their physical health but their cognitive and emotional health as well. Teaching proper hand washing is crucial in helping keep germs to a minimum, especially in the school setting. Teach kids to wash with soap and water, rubbing all surfaces of the hands for at least 30 seconds which is about the time it takes to sing the ABCs twice. Teach kids to sneeze into a tissue or if a tissue is not available to do the Dracula and sneeze into your elbow. For more information on how to keep your kids and family members healthy during the school year, visit