How to prevent common cold and influenza viruses in children8

Coughing can spread cold and flu infections to others. You can decrease the spread of cold by carrying out the following prevention measures8.


There is no vaccine to prevent the common cold in kids. However, there is a vaccine to prevent influenza virus which is recommended for children above six months and to be taken once a year42.


To prevent transmission of the common cold, practice good hygiene measures. These include frequent handwashing, avoiding touching one’s mouth, nose and eyes42.


Using disinfectants to decontaminate surfaces (e.g.alcohol) is good practice for preventing colds in toddlers and adults alike, as doing so may help decrease the spread of the cold-inducing viruses42.

Vitamin C and zinc

  • Studies have shown that daily vitamin C supplementation may shorten the duration of the common cold in children.42
  • Studies have also shown that oral zinc may provide some benefits in preventing colds as well as decreasing cold duration and severity.42

Is it the cough season?

Are you a concerned parent or teacher?
We have created a checklist for you on cold and flu prevention for kids.

I can prevent infections at school43

  • I educate and encourage the children to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when they cough. If tissue is not available, I teach them to cover coughs with their elbow.
  • I, as a teacher, should stay at home if I’m sick until at least 24 hours after I no longer have fever.
  • I remind the children to practice good hand hygiene by providing the time and supplies (access to water and soap) so they can wash their hands often.
  • As a role model, I practice good hand hygiene and cover my mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
  • I make sure that frequently touched surfaces (desks, door knobs, keyboards, or pens) are cleaned.
  • I find ways to increase social distances such as rearrange desks so that there is more space between students.