Did you know that the flu is so contagious that five to twenty percent of Americans get it each year? The good news is, the flu is preventable – for both parents and children. Unfortunately, many people ignore the importance of prevention methods that can drastically decrease the risk of getting the flu! Fire up a new health routine and boost your family's immune system by following the methods below!

Minimal Efforts = Maximum Prevention: Focusing on non-pharmaceutical prevention measures can effectively ensure your family avoids getting sick. Doing the small and simple things each day can keep the flu away!

Vaccinations: Vaccinations are valuable in preventing the flu and are your best option to stay healthy. Flu vaccination is a prediction of what the year's most common flu strains will be and helps lower flu rates by 50-60% in the population.

Wash Your Hands Frequently: Washing hands thoroughly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is a simple way to prevent the spread of disease. The CDC describes hand washing as a "Do it yourself vaccine" and explains how to correctly wash hands:

Research shows adding proper hand washing instruction to school systems decreases absences during flu season. Additionally, individuals should wash their hands at least 5 times a day for effective illness prevention.

Attitude: Your attitude matters! Your initial thoughts of frequent hand washing could be, "It does not prevent illnesses," or "It is inconvenient because it takes too long," or "Hand washing causes dry hands!" You need to understand the benefits of hand washing and to have positive attitude toward the behavior of hand washing. And let's be honest, it is SIMPLE and necessary for health.

Vaccinate yourself and your children, teach them to wash their hands correctly and frequently, and most importantly, believe that simple measures are the most effective ways to protect yourself and your children to combat the flu this winter season.