School started last week for my second-grader, plus my two-year-old began daycare at a new preschool. With back-to-school in effect, the next thing to expect is a slew of new germs and viruses my children will acquire and bring home. It never fails, a few weeks into school, one (or both) of them get sick. It’s unavoidable since they’re around so many kids, but there are a few things I do to prevent them getting sick (or at least prolong the process).
5 Tips for Avoiding Back to School Germs
- Wash, wash, wash: I remind my children to wash their hands the minute they walk into the house after school. I can only imagine the amount of surfaces they’ve touched throughout the day, so before they get too comfortable, I ask them to wash their hands.
- Keep hand sanitizer in the car: I like to keep a bottle of hand sanitizer in the car for occasional sanitizing when we’re out and about. I do this not only for the kids, but for myself too, since we come into contact with so many people, things, and surfaces.
- Add sanitizing wipes or hand sanitizer to the kids’ backpack: Either a small pack of sanitizing wipes or an attachable mini-bottle of hand sanitizer on my girl’s backpack helps her keep clean throughout the day while at school. I also know a few moms that include an individual sanitizing wipe inside their kids’ lunch box for hand cleaning right before eating.
- Take your vitamins: I try to remember to give my kids a daily vitamin to provide an extra boost to their immune system. When I feel they’re starting to show signs of a cold, I tend to give them a lot of orange juice to boost their Vitamin C and hopefully ward off a virus.
- Keep tissues handy: In order to contain any germs, I like to keep tissues handy for the eventual sneeze and sniffles. My daughter even likes to keep an individual-sized tissue pack in her backpack so she can cover her nose when necessary.
Because germs are hard to keep away forever and my kids undoubtedly will end up sick, I do keep over-the-counter allergy and cold medicines in stock at home. Many stores have sales for just such medicines around this time, since they know the cold and flu season is near. So, it’s a good time to check your medicine cabinets and see if you have any expired medicines you need to toss out and replace – after all, it’s terrible to have a sick child at 2 am only to find all your medicines are expired. Additionally, the OTCSafety.org team would like to remind parents of the following: “Always keep your medicine cabinet stocked with medicines specifically for your child so that if a fever or cough hits in the middle of the night, you will be ready and will NEVER be tempted to give an adult medicine to your child.”
What are some ways you help avoid back to school germs?
Disclosure: As part of the CHPA educational foundation’s OTC Safety Ambassador program, I received compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Photo: MIKI Yoshihito/Flickr