Tips to keep your child healthy at school this year are something I give out all the time…professionally that is! You may not know, but I am a registered nurse and have worked as a School Nurse for over 16 years! My “out of the home” job is trying to keep kids healthy!
7 Tips to Keep Your Child Healthy This School Year
1. Frequent Hand Washing is Key to Keeping Your Child Healthy at School:
I know you have heard it a thousand times, but hand washing really does matter! The fact is there are a LOT of germs in a school setting. Many children do NOT wash their hands or don't wash them properly. If your child is washing their hands properly those are germs they are not exposing themselves too. Most teachers will have hand sanitizer available in the classroom also. That will work in a pinch if your child needs a quick disinfecting session, but it isn't time for a bathroom break!
2. Teach Your Child Not to Touch Their Face or Put Their Hands into Their Mouth:
This is a simple tip, but I think it is one that needs to be promoted a lot more. Children who are constantly touching their faces or putting fingers or hands into their mouth will be getting sick more often. Kids at school are typically only going to wash their hands after a bathroom break unless they get dirty in between….there will be a lot of germs gathering on their little hands between washes. If those hands are placed near the mouth, eyes, nose, etc….germs will find their way inside the body. It is just that simple! Don't touch your face!!
3. Don't Share Drinks, Food or Other Personal Items:
I know that we try to teach our children to share from a young age, but I am here to tell you that sharing is not always a good idea! My experience is that children in the very young grades and then again in the much later grades are the most likely to share drinks and food. Sharing drinks and food is just a germ swap! People carry germs that may not be making them sick due to their immunities….but those same germs that don't make your friend sick….could make you sick!! Just eat and drink your own stuff and let your friends eat and drink their own stuff! Keep your germs to yourself!
4. Teach Your Children How to Stay Healthy:
There is VERY little health education going on in public schools anymore. They are focused on educating the kids on math and language arts….if you want your child to have a basic understanding of how to stay healthy…I would advise you to teach them that yourself! Children need to be taught a simple lesson on how a virus spreads. Tell your child that if someone in their class is coughing and hacking all day….it may not be a good idea to get right in that child's face…because they will probably get coughed on and will be the next one sick. Just by teaching your child some of the basics of disease transmission they will be ahead of the game!
5. Don't Send Your Child to School Sick:
I have worked outside the home my entire parenting life and I GET IT. It is hard to deal with sick children. Arrangements have to be made, money may be lost, work won't be happy, etc. I swear to you….I have been there…countless times! BUT….sending your child to school sick will only lengthen their illness. They may pick up an additional virus on top of the one they already have. They will also expose other children to illness and your child could end up catching it AGAIN from someone they exposed! Children need REST when they are sick. They cannot rest in school, period! Plan ahead….if you have kids…they will get sick at some point! Get some arrangements made for when this happens so that your child can fully recover at home before going back into the germy jungle of school!
6. Drink Water & Eat a Healthy Diet:
I think this one goes without saying….but kids need to drink plenty of water and eat a balanced diet. This will keep their little bodies in good shape so that they are able to fight off infection starting germs before they get their grip on your child's body!
7. Get Enough Sleep:
Chances are good that kids who are well rested will be healthier in school. When children aren't sleeping enough….over time their bodies will get run down. When we get run down we are much likelier to get sick. I have seen it in my own children and in the schools where I have worked! Children are busier today then probably ever in the history of time! They need sleep to stay healthy!
I hope you will take these 7 tips to keep your child healthy this school year to heart! I hate to put myself out of a job LOL…but would love to see less illness in the school setting! If every parent did their part to help their child stay healthy I think we could see a big decrease in illness!
What are your favorite tips to keep your child healthy this school year? You can read my post about Hearing Loss in Children over at The Happy Home Life blog where I am a contributor!