Your child isn’t the only one excited about returning back-to-school: germs and viruses that breed in the classroom are ecstatic too—they get new bodies to infect. But that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. There are a few precautionary measures you can take to ensure your child’s health is in its optimal state all year-long.
In the Classroom
1. Get the Right Supplies: While notebook and pens are important, so are antibacterial and disinfecting products like mini hand sanitizers, antibacterial tissue, or mini portable antibacterial wipes. Give your child a quick run through of when these products should be used, like after lunch and after shaking a friend’s hand.
2. Talk to the Teachers: It’s important that you talk to your child’s homeroom teacher and ask about policies regarding sick children. Are children sent home when they have runny noses and a cough? This should give you a better idea of what risks your child may or may not have of getting sick while surrounded with classmates.
It’s also important that if your child does get sick, you take the responsibility of not sending your child to school in their condition. This is how classroom outbreaks happen in the first place—a child with a minor cold virus is sent to school and then passes it along to his or her peers.
3. Pack Nutritious Lunches/Snacks: One of the more proactive ways you can help your child fight off germs in the classroom is to build up your child’s immunity system by setting him or her up with disease-fighting lunches and snacks. For example, offering an array of vitamin-c fortified cut up fruits and veggies are great. So are yogurt and fruit-based smoothies. Even building up lunch staples like sandwiches with the finest anti-oxidant ingredients like spinach, tomatoes, avocado, tuna, shredded carrots, salmon, spouts and cilantro can give your child’s defense system the boost it needs. You can also consider giving your child a kid-friendly daily multi-vitamin.
Outside of the Classroom
4. Address Hygiene Practices: Even if you’ve taught your child before, it’s important that you review proper hygiene practices during the first initial weeks of school. Talk about the importance of thoroughly washing hands with warm water every time your child uses the restroom as well as after touching surfaces that everyone else touches, such as doorknobs and keyboards. You also want to recommend to temporarily staying away from sick classmates, no matter if it’s in the classroom or on the bus. It’s equally
5. Encourage Sleep: To help your child have the strength to ward off cold-causing pathogens, your child also needs to be getting plenty of sleep. The average is about 8 hours depending on your child’s age, but your child needs tons of shut-eye so that his or her body can heal and recover through the night. Those that don’t get enough sleep are more vulnerable to getting sick.
6. Push for Exercise: Last but certainly not least you should encourage your child to put down the X-Box after school and play some outdoor sports instead. Regular exercise has proven to build up the body’s defense system and make it equip to battle colds and flus—at the very least it will minimize the body’s recovery rate if your child were to get sick. So that everyone gets involved, try to make it a family event—all of you can walk around the block or cycle.
Amelia Wood is a blogger at www.medicalbillingandcoding.org and freelance writer with a passion for helping people find medical billing and coding jobs. She welcomes your suggestions and queries at firstname.lastname@example.org.