If someone comes in to work coughing and sniffling, you probably take pains to avoid him. You try not to share an elevator, move to another desk if you can, and don't touch the same keyboard he's using. At a family party, an under-the-weather relative might blow you an air kiss rather than offer her customary hug and kiss. But what if the sick person in your midst is your own child? How can you stay healthy when you need to be on constant call for someone who's probably a little lax about keeping his bacteria to himself? Parents magazine offers five great tips for staying healthy no matter how many germs have invaded your home:

Try not to snuggle too much. It can be tough to resist the urge to smother your feverish little one with comforting kisses. But the more you touch, the greater the likelihood that you'll contract some of her germs. Try using your voice to soothe her, or restricting your kisses to her forehead (away from her mouth).

Avoid sharing. Normally it's great to teach kids to be generous with what they have. But when one of them is sick, it's best to have the rest of the family stay away from his toys, towels, cups, utensils, and clothes. Even a communal tube of toothpaste can harbor bacteria.

Dial up the hot water. It may be environmentally friendly to use colder water when doing the laundry, but hot water kills more germs. Make sure you wash your hands after you toss in your child's clothes, towels and blankets, and sanitize the machine between loads by running it empty with bleach.

Kick them out of the kitchen. It's lovely to have your child sit at the table coloring or reading, but not when he's ill. Bacteria can survive on tabletops and counters, which means you run the risk of your child's germs invading your family's food supply. Especially avoid letting your child touch the refrigerator or freezer door handles.

Be a hand washing nut. You're always reminding your children to wash up, so don't forget to do it yourself. Scrub the fronts and backs of your hands for at least 20 seconds, and follow up with hand sanitizer for extra insurance. And keep small bottles of sanitizer in your handbag as well. You may feel like this is overkill, but germs often are spread through hand-to-hand contact.