UNDATED (CNN) -- It's that time of year, when the little ones are sniffling and sneezing. What can parents do to keep kids from spreading germs to each other.

Ainsley Rossi knows that it's hard to keep germs from spreading when one of her children gets sick. She says, "I just know that all three, all three are going to get sick."

Earlier this year Sofia was diagnosed with an ear infection, and now Rossi says, "Fiona is getting over a cold, and Sofia is getting over a fever, and Noah is getting over a cold."

But there are things parents can do to fight back, and one of the best is to clean, because Dr. Jennifer Shu with the American Academy of Pediatrics says, "Germs can live on surfaces for anywhere from two hours to two days or more, and they can spread up to about six feet in the air."

The common cold is often the culprit this time of year, and Dr. Shu says young children can get between six and 10 colds a year.

So Ainsley disinfects all kinds of shared surfaces such as countertops, sink faucets, toilet flushers, door knobs, refrigerator handles, and toys.

She also has all three wash their hands on a regular basis, and with the twins. She says, "I'm just trying to teach them to sneeze into their elbow and not, and cover their mouths when they cough."

Parents can also designate a certain colored cup for each child in hopes of reducing the spread of germs. And when a child is sick, try to keep him or her home from daycare or school.

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