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The following content is created in consultation with Stop & Shop. It does not reflect the work or opinions of NBC Boston's editorial staff.

With the kids back in school, autumn allergies peaking and flu season ramping up, it can seem like just a matter of time before someone in your family gets sick. But thanks to these tips—plus support from your friendly pharmacists at Stop & Shop—you may all be able to enjoy a happier, healthier fall.

Reduce the spread of germs. This means washing your hands—a lot. If soap and water aren’t available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Even if you think your hands are clean, try not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth, where germs can easily be spread. Keep shared surfaces and objects clean and disinfected. Stay away from people who are sick—and if you’re the one coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue and throw it away in the trash. Got the flu? Don’t be a martyr. The CDC recommends staying home from work or school for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone. 

Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Exercise. Sleep. Eat whole grains and vegetables. Stay hydrated by drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water and limiting alcohol and caffeine. Don’t smoke. If all this sounds easier said than done, remember that your Stop & Shop pharmacists are there to provide you with support and information.

Stock up. When you’re under the weather, you don’t want to discover your thermometer’s been broken since last year. Take time now to check expiration dates on over-the-counter drugs, and ask a Stop & Shop pharmacist about great preventative tools to add to your arsenal, like an air humidifier, saline spray, or nasal irrigation wash. And don’t forget, while you stock up on medicine cabinet essentials like throat lozenges and acetaminophen, you can also pick up the makings of chicken soup.

Get a flu shot. It's the No. 1 thing you can do to prevent the flu, according to the CDC. Flu season can last as long as four months so now is the time to do it. If you have pre-teens, teens, or college students, they may need other shots like TDap, (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis), HPV, and meningitis. Your Stop & Shop pharmacist can help you stay up to date.

Know your numbers. Are you up to date on your own vaccinations? Do you know your “numbers”? From cholesterol to A1C, blood pressure to BMI, find out where you stand with a free health screening at your local Stop & Shop on October 6. Your pharmacist can help you manage your health and even recommend ways to improve your numbers.

Want to know your numbers? Go to Stop & Shop for a free health screening sponsored by TYLENOL® on November 17! Click here for a full list of participating pharmacies.

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