Even with the prevalence of vaccinations for the flu, many parents struggle with their children getting sick time after time. During the peak months of illness in the fall and winter, it may seem like their child is always just getting sick or just getting over it. As a matter of fact, for the school-age child, six to ten viral illnesses a year is not uncommon. Vaccinations for the flu are great and recommended by doctors for children, however, they do not protect against every virus out there. Here is some advice on some other things you can do.Make soap and water your child's best friend. Most germs get into your child's system hand-to-mouth or hand-to-eye. Even older children who insist they know how to wash their hands are probably skimping on the soap and the time needed to really remove the germs. One should be lathering and rubbing the hands together in the time it takes to sing the alphabet. A little supervision on the part of parents may be needed on occasion. Be sure in a public place that your child knows to use a paper towel to shut off the faucet so he is not recontaminating his hands. At home be certain to clean faucets and doorknobs frequently, so that germs do not get back on the hands again within moments of washing. Everyone knows about hand washing. Something many parents do not consider is whether their child gets enough sleep a day. Sleep deprivation has been proved to increase susceptibility to colds. In the United States, nearly every study conducted has shown that children are not getting enough sleep. It may be time to move your child's bedtime up an hour, and be firm about it. While adjusting to the new schedule they may not fall asleep as quickly, but quiet play or reading in their bed may be restful enough and help them transition to the earlier bedtime.It may be helpful to know some things that do not protect your child from the cold and flu. Forbidding your child from playing outdoors because it is cold does not protect your child from getting sick. There is also a myth about wet hair and wet feet causing colds and flus. According to the research there are no increased incidences of illness from being cold, and on the other hand, one reason why the experts think the fall and winter is so bad for viruses is because people are indoors more. Kissing also does not pass on colds and flus because it must pass through the nasopharynx for the disease to develop. There is no need to skimp on good-night kisses for your child. Remember the viruses are commonly transmitted by the hands. Even with all of the above precautions, you may still find your child falling into the statistical norm of a half dozen illnesses a year. In this case, it may be best to adopt a sense of humor about the whole thing. When pigs fly, swine flu.