LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: 6 tips to avoid back-to-school germs.

School is back in session across Mid-Michigan, and that means tens of thousands of local students returning to class, being around one another, and spreading germs. Parents know all too well that the first week or two at school will likely result in a sniffle or cough following soon — that then spreads through the household. Bacteria and viruses that lead to sore throats, colds, and upset stomachs will increase dramatically over the next few weeks — so here are 6 tips to avoid those back-to-school germs:

*Health experts say, 80% of infectious diseases are spread by touch. So, make sure to remind your kids to wash their hands many times during the day, especially before eating and after using the bathroom.

*Teach your kids to not sneeze into their hands, and instead, cover their mouth with the crook of their elbow when they sneeze and cough.

*Routinely wipe down and clean your child’s backpack.

*Advise your kids to avoid sharing their snacks, toys, and supplies, especially ones that touch their mouths.

*Make sure kids get plenty of rest. Doctors say, sleeping allows the body to beat germs by producing proteins that can fight infection, illness, and stress.

*Get your child up-to-date on all immunizations.

Also, remember — if your kid gets sick… keep your son or daughter home. This will obviously help to keep other kids from catching the bug… and will allow your child to recover a lot quicker.