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As soon as children bounce back from a stomach virus or nasty cold, it seems like another one hits a few days later.

That’s not your imagination.

Adults get an average of 2 or 3 colds per year, while children tend to get twice as many, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most people recover in 7 to 10 days, but symptoms such as a congested chest can linger for weeks.

Influenza is even worse. There have been as many as 35 million cases of fluid past years, and hundreds of thousands of people end up in the hospital each year with flu-related illnesses including pneumonia, CDC data show.

Young children, the elderly and anyone with a compromised immune system should be especially careful to avoid contact with people who show obvious symptoms of illness.

Here are a few things you can do to protect your family and keep everyone healthy this cold and flu season to reduce the likelihood of getting sick.

  1. Wash your hands with hot soapy water. Vigorously scrub your hands for 20 seconds, especially before eating, and after touching door handles or shaking hands.
  2. Don’t touch your face. Be conscious of not touching your eyes, mouth or nose because that’s a prime way for germs on your hands to enter your body.
  3. Steer clear when others are ill. People who are sneezing or have obvious symptoms such as fever, chills or congestion are probably contagious and can spread viruses through close proximity. Encourage people who come to work, school, sports events or other leisure activities with obvious signs of illness to go back home.
  4. Get lots of sleep. Skimping on sleep weakens your immune system and makes you more susceptible to catching an illness.
  5. Stick to a healthy diet. A burger and fries might sound good, but eating lots of vegetables and fruits keeps your body stronger and gives your immune system a boost. Vitamin C is especially important because it can reduce the risk of catching colds. We reach for a bottle of NADI organic rosehip drink for our Vitamin C fix because every bottle has 135% of daily Vitamin C needs.