Beware the Preschooler
They're like little walking virus machines, says Dr. Karron. Young children haven't yet built up immunity to respiratory illnesses. Typically, when adults contract a respiratory virus, we get less sick, and we're less infectious to others. Preschoolers are more likely to get sick, they get more sick, and they're more likely to pass on that sickness, especially since so many are grouped together in school and daycare settings. On top of that, most preschoolers haven't yet learned to cover their mouths when they cough, carry tissues, or refrain from picking their noses.
But they are good learners! For starters, teach them how to wash their hands properly. Delight them by rubbing your four hands together under a stream of warm, soapy water while singing "If You're Happy and You Know It (Wash Your Hands!)." Then, have your child practice sneezing into his or her sleeve with a comical, "Ah-choo!" After they know how to prevent the spread of germs, remind them to follow through. (That's the tough part.)