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How to Keep a Twin Healthy When the Other Is Sick?

What do I do when one of my twins catches a cold -- are they both always going to get sick at the same time?

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What do I do when one of my twins catches a cold -- are they both always going to get sick at the same time?

The Bump Expert

We know how it goes. One kid gets sick, and you’re worried the virus will spread through your family like wildfire. But rest assured that that’s not a given. Even though colds and other viruses are contagious, there’s a lot you can do to cut down on the chances that both twins (and the rest of you!) will also get sick.

Nix the sharing. Start by keeping the twins’ stuff separated, so they’re not sharing sippy cups, bottles, spoons and other supplies.

Be a hand-washing stickler. Make sure everyone in the house washes their hands frequently with soap and water, for at least 30 to 60 seconds every time.

Clean or sanitize toys. Throw them in the washing machine or wipe them down with a kid-safe, germ-killing cleanser.

Keep yourself healthy. All that hand washing applies to you too. Remember that if you get sick, you could become a germ intermediary -- there’s not just a risk of twin-to-twin transmission, but also parent or caregiver to child. Take care of yourself during this time, eating right and getting enough sleep.

Use the guest room. If the twins share a room, you may want to temporarily separate them while one is sick. The risk isn’t so much about the virus getting passed through the air as much as a cranky kid keeping the other one up during the night and interfering with their sleep.

More from The Bump:

Home Remedies for Toddler Colds

How to Teach a Toddler to Blow His Nose

Vitamins for a Toddler

Preeti Parikh MD, Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York (and mom of twins)