Exposure to germs can be a big problem as children go back to school. Germs can:
- Cause infection.
- Be found in all kinds of places.
- Be spread by any child, adolescent, teen or adult.
Addressing the spread of germs in schools is essential to the health of your child. Nearly 22 million school days are lost in the U.S. each year due to the common cold alone. You can help your child avoid and prevent the spread of germs by following these tips:
- Tell your children to clean their hands for as long as it takes them to sing their ABCs, "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" or the "Happy Birthday" song. They should use hand sanitizer for the best results. Antibacterial soap with warm water is a good second option if hand sanitizer is not available.
- Encourage your children not to share drinks and personal hygiene products (like hairbrushes) with friends. Sharing these items can pass many simple illnesses and some major ones, like meningitis.
- If your child sneezes, encourage him to do so into a tissue or other disposable substance. If there are no tissues available, he should turn and sneeze into the crook of his arm. Sneezing into his hands can increase the chances of spreading germs.
- If you think your child is sick, it is best to keep him home from school. The older your child is, and the more he understands about how to minimize passing germs to others, it may be OK to send him to school if he isn't feeling well.