It’s that time again. Back to school! But are you worried about your child catching whatever colds and bugs are floating around at school? With so many kids from so many different areas stuck in the same room every weekday, it’s easy for germs to spread. That’s why the beginning of the school year is the best time to establish healthy habits that will keep your kids protected from germs and illnesses. Here are some simple ways to keep your children healthy when they go back to school.
Keeping clean hands is perhaps the most important thing you can have your little student do to stay healthy. This point may seem obvious, but it’s easy for kids to go about their day forgetting to wash their hands. Proper hand washing is the best healthy habit to have for back-to-school time. With so many germs around, it’s imperative that your child washes her hands regularly. Teach your child that it’s important to wash her hands before and after eating, after recess, and after handling commonly used items in the classroom. Make sure they use warm water with liquid soap, and lather for at least twenty seconds. Dry the hands thoroughly so reduce the chances of germs from the air sticking to the hands after washing.
In addition to good hand-washing habits, it’s also good to teach avoiding bad habits such as touching the nose, mouth, and eyes. Let’s face the facts: sometimes kids pick their nose. Sometimes they touch their mouth, eyes, and ears without thinking about it. While it’s probably impossible to prevent your child from doing these things altogether, it’s good to encourage them to be more vigilant about doing them less when they are at school or at places where they are exposed to an array of germs. Make sure your kid knows that it’s important to wash hands periodically, especially when they’ve been touching those areas on the face where germs come in. Same rule applies to sneezing and coughing onto the hands.
Sharing is caring, and an essential life skill to learn. But there is a limit! With so many germs around, it’s risky for kids to share drinks, food, utensils, and toys. This is why it’s also important for kids to wash their hands after playing with toys or sharing other objects in the classroom. It might even be worth reminding the teacher to sanitize these shared items at the end of each school day!
Last but not least, good hygiene and diet will help keep your child’s immune system strong. Get your kid in the habit of bathing or showering after school, or at least before going to bed, to help wash away germs and allergens they may have picked up at school. It’s also important for mind and body to have healthy meals every day. A diet with the proper amount of fruit, vegetables, vitamins, and water will keep your child’s immune system more resilient to outside illnesses.