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How to Keep Pass-Along Germs Away from Your Child

by Tania Cowling | November 5th, 2014 | Elementary, Social

classroom-433876_1280Have the back-to-school colds hit your home yet? Contagious illnesses increase during school months and when the seasons change, as we tend to spend more time indoors with the windows closed. Whether at home or at school, young children contract at least five or more colds a year. On the plus side, they are building up their immunity by fighting off the infection. On the down side, everyone in the house is getting sick. Well, this is what happens in my home. Learn a few precautionary measures to insure your family will stay healthy this season.

Is your child’s school passing Germs 101?

How well does your child’s school and classroom teacher work toward keeping a germ-free environment? First, it’s helpful if there is adequate ventilation, enough space for each child where they aren’t breathing upon one another, and if toileting areas (and diapering for the little tykes) are kept clean. Check to see if your child’s school is following the state-licensed health and safety requirements, like using disinfectant, disposable towels, and a covered wastebasket. And, frequent hand washing by both children and staff is of utmost importance. I know, I was a preschool teacher and I had my fair share of picking up the little colds that became big colds with me.

Are you practicing healthy habits at home?

How is your hygiene at home? Do you remember to wash your hands every time you wipe a runny nose, either your child’s or your own? Make a point of teaching your youngster about washing germs down the drain. Let him/her know that you are happy when they practice good hygiene habits. And to keep siblings germ-free, make sure eating and drinking utensils are kept separate and clean, counters sprayed with a bleach solution, and toys washed before trading hands, especially with babies.

Do you sent your kids to school when they are sick? Even though some childcare centers allow mildly sick children at school, I hope you don’t send them. Stomach bugs, flu bugs and any kinds of health bugs need to remain at home. Sending kids to school with even mild fevers or slowing diarrhea is a threat to all the well kids and their families.

And what about vaccines?

Is your child up-to-date with his/her vaccines? You may think you have the safest environment at home and even at your school, but if children do not receive their vaccines, they are not adequately protected from all the illnesses in the world. Talk to your doctor about immunizations that will protect your child from the flu, rotavirus (intestinal bug), varicella (chicken pox), pneumococcus, and all the other bugs that have declined due to standard vaccines, such as pertussis (whooping cough), measles, and polio.

We can’t stopped all the illnesses this season, but by practicing good hygiene and a few safety measures, we as parents have done our best to prevent the nasty bugs from invading our space and infecting our kids.

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