Summer has reached an end. While we say bye to summer vacation we say hello to new friends, new skills, and new germs and bugs! Students touch germ covered surfaces during the day, and their fingers end up near their eyes, in their mouth, and on their food. Many kids just don’t realize where those germs are and how easily they transfer. We can’t escape germs but we can take steps to prevent getting sick!
Preventing back to school germs
Get plenty of sleep
Sleep is important. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend at least 10 hours per night for school-age kids. In addition to helping children concentrate—and behave—at school, adequate sleep strengthens the immune system and fights off infections.
Bring your own water bottle
The water fountain is often the germiest place at school (and that includes the toilet seats!). After all, the bathrooms get cleaned frequently, but the water fountain doesn’t get much attention. By sending your kids to school with water bottles, you’re effectively saving them from the biggest germ risk possible.
Wash Your Hands—a Lot
People, and kids in particular, touch their eyes, nose, and mouth frequently, transmitting the germs on their hands into their bodies. Washing your hands with soap and water is one of the best defenses against infections.
Kids should wash their hands after going to the bathroom, after recess, and before eating. Hand sanitizer helps, but it isn’t as effective as soap and water.
Cover Your Coughs and Sneezes
Coughing etiquette helps reduce the spread of infections in schools. Teach kids to cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze. Using a tissue is best, but if one isn’t available, kids should cough or sneeze into their elbow or shirt sleeve, keeping germs off their hands.
Get a Flu Shot
Young kids are at higher risk for complications, so preventing the flu is key. The best way to do this is to get them vaccinated each year.
Additional germ playgrounds to be aware of
Computers, tablets, and other electronic devices are a staple in schools. Unfortunately, they’re also a magnet for germs. At most schools teachers and staff members will ensure that each device is wiped down in between uses, but that’s not always the case. Encourage your child to wash their hands before and after touching a keyboard, mouse, or tablet.
The cafeteria repeatedly ranks as one of the most germ-heavy areas of a school. Although many schools have made improvements to reduce the spread of germs, including wiping down lunch trays and tables and ensuring students use hand sanitizer before and after meals, there are still ways to prevent your child from picking up and extra germs during lunch.
Trying to stay sane while you wade through the back-to-school season can seem impossible, but one of our Louisiana or Mississippi locations can help. Need immunizations for school? We’ve got it. Need physicals? Come on in. If the stress of the season wins out over your child’s immune system, drop by and see us. We’ll get you squared away and “back to back-to-school” in no time.