How Can I Help to Prevent Illness? One of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of illness is with frequent hand washing. Many diseases are spread from contact, meaning touching a surface than putting your hands to your face. Use soap and lots of friction and wash for at least 2 minutes. Wash your hands before and after coming in contact with a sick child and before and after meal preparation. Keep food surfaces clean and free from bacteria. Be sure your child receives the recommended vaccines offered for childhood diseases such as whooping cough, measles and others. If you have a cold, cover mouth with tissue and wash hands thoroughly to avoid spreading your illness to others. If you have a respiratory infection with a fever or a diarrhea/vomiting illness, stay home to avoid spreading it to others. How Can I Help my Child Avoid Injuries? When inside the house, be sure water heaters are set no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid burns. Keep child away from stove, and turn pot handles inward. Be sure all electrical outlets are covered. Poisons should be kept in a locked cabinet. If you have other dangerous items such as firearm and other weapons, they should be locked and unloaded. Watch your child around any water. Drownings happen quickly and many times right in your own back yard. If your child rides a bike, scooter or skateboard, be sure they abide by traffioc rules and ride in safe areas. Helmets should be worn at all times. Sunscreen is recommended to avoid burns. What other hazards should I be aware of? Latex balloons are a choking hazard. Do not have them in the house, and use caution during parties. Be sure children under three are not exposed to small objects they may choke on. Be sure cords from blinds and lamps are secure and tied to prevent accidental hanging. Do not allow your child to play with plastic bags. If your house is older than 1970, have your house tested for lead paint. Be sure your child doe not consume paint chips. Be sure lighters and matches are kept of range. And have emergency numbers handy in case of accidental injuries and poisonings.