Cold winter months seem synonymous with sickness. Don’t let your family fall victim to the never-ending flu. With these simple precautions, your family won’t miss all the fun of winter.

Roll Up Your Sleeve for a Flu Shot Though it isn’t 100% effective, a flu shot can diminish your chances of contracting the flu by 50 to 60 percent. Even if you do catch the flu after receiving the shot, your symptoms typically do not last as long nor are they as severe.

Wash Your Hands Numerous studies have found that one of the best ways to prevent the flu is to wash your hands thoroughly and frequently. Additionally, washing your hands also helps to prevent against stomach bugs. While washing with antibacterial soap and water is best, hand sanitizer with alcohol will also get rid of germs.

Go to Bed Early Sleep is a critical component to a healthy immune system. It is important not only to get the proper amount of sleep, but to maintain your sleep schedule. Shifting a bedtime by more than hour can throw off your circadian rhythm. A recent study revealed that adults that get less than 7 hours of sleep each night are 3 times as likely to get sick.

Clean Up Your Diet Obesity leads to chronic inflammation, putting your body at an even greater risk for infection. Eating a diet rich in fiber will help to reduce inflammation and increase your body’s overall function.

Get Your Vitamins Vitamins C and D in addition to a probiotic can aid in fighting off colds this winter. Experts recommend 800 IU of Vitamin D and 400mg of Vitamin C per day during cold and flu season. Additionally, probiotics decrease inflammation, strengthen your immune system and can help your body to fight off a cold.

There is no magic pill that will keep you from falling victim to a cold or the flu. However, a healthy diet, proper sleep, supplements and old-fashioned hand washing will help to keep you well, even when your house is filled with sick children.