It’s that time of year again! You know, the germ-swapping, stomach bugs, and runny nose time of year – every parent’s favorite!
Back to school germs are resilient viruses and bacteria that get the best of our kiddos, in spite of our greatest efforts. And classrooms are a hotspot to expose them to germs that make our children sick. But, don’t let that discourage you! While we can’t avert all illnesses passed around at school, we can give you some preventative tips to make your kids aware of, so they can implement healthy habits to avoiding spreading germs this school year.
Tip #1: Raise Germ Awareness
Since germs live on many surfaces, it’s important to encourage your child to avoid rubbing their face, nose, and eyes after touching desks and countertops. In fact, help your kids understand and get in the habit of:
○ Washing hands before and after every meal or snack, and after using the restroom
○ Keeping their fingers out of their noses and mouths
○ Coughing or sneezing into their sleeve or a tissue
○ Keeping their mouths off other kids drinks and water fountain spigots
○ Avoiding foods that fall on the floor (even though you’ve told them a thousand times already)
Tip #2: Keep Immune Systems Strong
This is a big one – mostly because our children’s immune systems are still developing, which means they’re more inclined to illnesses. Since the immune system is our main defense to fight bacteria and sickness, it’s essential that you create healthy habits for your kids.
○ Incorporate fruits and veggies for every meal
○ Make sure they drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration (get their own personal
water bottle to avoid fountain germs)
○ Maintain a regular sleep schedule and stick to it (yes, even on weekends)
○ Make sure your child gets routine physical exercise
○ Avoid fast-food restaurants when possible
Tip #3: Model Good Handwashing Behaviors
We know kids don’t like their social time taken away with their friends by practicing good hygiene habits, but too bad! Handwashing is essential when it comes to keeping those yucky germs at bay. Encourage your kiddos to wash their hands (yes, with soap) after using the bathroom, sneezing or blowing their nose, prior to handling food, and after contact with another kid. It’s best to wash hands with soap and warm water for about 15 seconds – so it might be a good idea to have them count or sing a handwashing song to thoroughly eliminate germs and remove bad bacteria.
Tip #4: Don’t Forget the Flu Shot
Flu shots are the most common vaccine kids should receive annually! The 2018-2019 flu season was the longest it’s ever been in a decade, lasting 21 weeks and taking the lives of 106 children! Flu vaccines are crucial in order to protect your kid and your family from getting influenza, especially for those with asthma. It’s never too early to get your child’s flu shot, so go ahead and schedule their appointment at any of our offices to get ahead of the game.
Tip #5: Don’t Bring Your Kid to School Sick
We understand there is no convenient time for your child to get sick, especially when you have a packed schedule, but it happens. If your kiddo has a fever, keep them home and away from others to avoid spreading germs, and schedule an appointment with our office. If your child is acting sick but doesn’t have a fever, pay attention to the warning signs like; cough, runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, irritability, etc… These symptoms can spread bacteria and germs and also be the early stages of a virus.
Back to school usually means bringing home more than just homework – but the good news is that with these preventative tips, you can avoid back to school germs from getting the best of your kid and have a happy, healthy school year.