As the thermometer drops outside and the bare trees begin to collect snow, I take a deep breath.

Despite the beautiful winter landscape, the first thing that comes to my mind is that we are officially in cold and flu season.

A little over three years ago, I gave birth to our daughter, who was more than 17 weeks premature. Our surviving triplet spent nearly four months in the neonatal intensive care unit, and when she finally came home, on oxygen, we avoided germs like it was our job.

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Healthy Essentials

Today, we know that washing our hands is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs.

But how we came to know that is pretty fascinating.

Image via iStock.

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March of Dimes

Bad news, folks. Your house? It's kinda dirty.

But you're not alone. The world is a dirty place, and every time we step into it, we bring home morsels of its muck.

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Seventh Generation