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Keep Your Child Healthy This School Year

Back to school can be both thrilling and anxiety provoking.

On the one hand, the long summer vacation is over, so you will be delighted that the kids will be back in the classroom studying most of the day.

Tips for Keeping Your Child Healthy This School Year

Tips for Keeping Your Child Healthy This School Year

On the other hand, back to school means more health issues If your child is a “germ magnet,” here are some of the best ways to keep your child healthy this school year.

1. Beat Bacteria

Many childhood illnesses are caused by bacteria. All it takes is one sick child to bring a nasty bug to school such as strep throat.

If they are not careful about their coughing, sneezing or vomiting, the illness will spread not just to the kids sharing their classroom, but in some cases to the entire school, and even the families of each child infected at school.

Or, a child not taught properly, lazy, or in a hurry, might go to the bathroom and not wash their hands, then come back to class and spread germs throughout. If your child doesn’t wash their hands and puts their fingers in their mouth, illness can occur.

Lost productivity in terms of work and money earned, and in relation to medical treatment, costs everyone big time. Teach your children proper hand washing, and when to wash.

2. Teach Them When to Wash Their Hands

Everyone should wash their hands:

  • Before and after eating
  • After going to the bathroom
  • After playing sports
  • After coming in from the playground
  • After using a shared computer or phone
  • After any messy jobs such as in art or science
  • After blowing their nose

3. Teach Them the Right Way to Wash Their Hands

The CDC has instructions, posters and more. The World Health Organization also has a handy illustrated poster at http://www.who.int/gpsc/5may/How_To_HandWash_Poster.pdf that you can put up near every sink in your home.

4. Use Hand Sanitizer

If there is no soap and water available, they can use hand sanitizer. Pack a small bottle in their bag and their lunch box if they take one to school to help remind them to clean up before eating. Moist sanitizing hand wipes can also help beat bacteria.

Tips for Keeping Your Child Healthy This School Year

5. Cover Coughs

Remind them to cover coughs using their upper arm, not their hand, since that would cause germs to transfer to anything they touched.

6. Avoid Cotton Handkerchiefs

The last thing you want is for germs to hang around on cloths stuffed in their pockets. Make sure your child goes to school with a pocket pack of tissues.

7. Keep Hands Away from Eyes and out of the Mouth

Remind your child that hands are often covered in germs and can easily transfer if they touch their face, especially around the mouth, or rub their eyes.

8. Vanquish Viruses

The common cold (medically known as rhinovirus) and the flu virus are two of the most common viruses that are spread in schools. A flu shot can help prevent you and your child from catching it in the first place.

If they do still catch it, the two most sensible steps are to quarantine the child (that is, keep them away from the other members of the family, including the pets) and take them to the doctor for a dose of antivirals.

Studies have shown the flu can clear up an average of two days faster this way, meaning they will be contagious two fewer days.

9. Keep Up with Vaccinations

Many illnesses can be avoided this way.

10. Don’t Share Water Bottles or Food

Oral transmission of bacteria and virus is one of the most common routes for infection.

Teach your child about the value of staying safe from germs and see what a difference it makes this school year.

 


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