Any teacher would know firsthand that schools contain extensive amounts of germs. Newsletters are sent out on a regular basis with a note of caution to parents that strep throat or lice is going around. According to the CDC, elementary students can have anywhere from eight to twelve cases of the flu or a cold each school year. Students older than that can get about four to six cases of the flu or cold each year.
"Its stunning how many kids touch their faces and then touch other kids," said Dr. Harley Rotbart. "This is a very touchy-feely demographic and that's who we share germs... and the little ones don't have the same exposure to germs that we do, so until their immune systems get built up, they get sick."
According to Dr. Rotbard, the place in a school that contains the most germs is actually the water fountain. It does not get cleaned as frequently so actually contains more germs than a toilet. Consider having your kid bring their own water bottle to school as a great way to avoid the drinking fountain and potentially a few colds.
Another item to suggest your kids watch out for are cafeteria trays. They are not sanitized as well as they could be and children eat off of them. Using hand sanitizer before your child eats could be very helpful in keeping them healthy.
Children in school should also be getting enough sleep. The CDC recommends 10-11 hours of sleep every single night. If a child is sleep deprived their immune system will not work as well as it could.
Another recommendation is to have your kids wash their hands well. But how do we know what is a good amount of time? Have your kids sing happy birthday or say the alphabet while washing their hands instead of counting. 20 seconds is the recommended amount of time.
Skipping the video games to get exercise in may also be a helpful way to keep away from the germs. If your student has recess that is a great time for them to run around and exercise.
Keeping away from the flu and colds do not need to be difficult. Try these tips this school year!