Do you know why school children get sick so often? What are the best ways to keep your child healthy at school? Get answers to those questions about school health and more here.
Does your child seem sick all the time? In the early school years, your child’s immune system looks like a test specimen. Young children in large groups spread the microbes that easily make them sick.
Below we’ll show why infectious diseases are common and what your child can do to stay healthy at school.
Ways of spreading the infection
Many childhood illnesses are caused by viruses, and it only takes one child to be infected with a virus and attend school for this virus to start spreading. Consider this common scenario, when a child in the classroom is coughing or sneezing because they have a cold, and children sitting near them inhale the contagious respiratory droplets, thus spreading the cold.
Or perhaps a child with diarrhea uses the toilet and returns to class without washing his hands, at which point, germs that cause illness may spread from anything the sick child touches to other children who touch the same thing and then put their fingers in their mouths.
The importance of handwashing
Frequent hand washing is one of the simplest, and most effective, ways to maintain health at school. Remind your child to wash their hands before eating and after using the toilet, blowing their nose, or playing outside, and you can suggest washing hands with soap for as long as it takes them to sing a baby song twice.
Taking general precautions can go a long way to maintaining health at school. In addition to frequent hand washing, encourage your child to follow these tips:
Use hand sanitizer Give your child alcohol-based hand sanitizer to keep at his desk or in his backpack. Remind your child to use sanitizer before snacks or lunch and after using any shared computer, pencil sharpener, water cooler, or other shared items. You can also donate sanitizing wipes to the classroom for public use.
Cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. Give your child a set of tissues to keep at his desk or in his backpack. Encourage your child to cough or sneeze into a tissue that he puts in the litter box after use, washes his hands, or uses hand sanitizer, and if he can’t reach a tissue in time, remind your child to cough or sneeze at the crease of the elbow.
Keeping hands out of the eyes and out of the mouth, remind your child that hands are always covered in germs.
Don’t share water bottles, food, or other personal belongings. Teach your child this simple rule. If you put anything in your mouth, keep it to yourself.
Also, help your child avoid anyone with a potentially contagious infection, as direct contact with a friend who has an infectious disease, such as at playtime or when spending the night outside, can infect your child and eventually get sick.
Of course, it’s important for your child to eat a healthy diet, get plenty of sleep and get regular vaccinations, including the annual flu shot, to avoid spreading illness at home, use the same advice for the whole family.
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