School is back in session! While this is a very exciting time for most, reuniting with friends and teachers, it is also the time of year marked by the spread of germs. Colds alone account for the most missed days of school than any other illness. In fact, the average American child will encounter six to 10 colds a year. Many children have parents that work full-time, making it difficult for them to take work off to attend to their sick child. There are several reasons why going to school is one of the main ways children become sick:
-Children are in close contact with each other at school.
-Children are more vulnerable to acquiring germs more so than adults, for the fact their immune systems are less mature.
-Children tend to have those habits of picking their nose, sticking their hands and finger in their mouth and other habits that acquire and spread germs.
Ways to protect children from getting germs and getting sick at school include:
-Get Immunized: make sure your child is completely up-to-date on their immunizations.
-Keep back packs clean: clean out backpack regularly. Kids tend to leave some pretty disgusting things in them such as old lunches/rotten food and dirty gym clothes.
-Properly wash hands with warm water and soap: children should completely scrub their hands- around the nails, back of their hands, between their fingers and even around their wrists.
-Build immunity: live a healthy life style (eats well, exercise, get enough sleep, drink plenty of water).
-Teach child proper germ etiquette: stay away from other kids who show signs of an illness (coughing, sneezing), as well as cover their own cough and sneeze.
-Don’t share certain items at school: aside from not sharing food and drinks, kids should stay away from sharing other items such as make-up, Chap Stick, lotions, razors and even sports gear such as helmets and gloves. It may also be a good idea to bring their own pencil box, keeping all their writing utensils to themselves.
Provide hand sanitizer: if soap and water aren’t available (field trip, games, etc.), having a hand sanitizer or some kind of disinfecting whip can come in handy.
Follow those tips and your child should live a germ-free lifestyle!