Keeping Children Healthy at School

keeping children healthy at schoolKeeping children healthy at school is not the easiest feat. Ordinarily children in school spread germs among themselves easily. It is not the easiest thing to try and reduce spread of germs when children are in close proximity with each other, playing, touching things and putting things in their mouth (especially the younger children).

It is very important not to be complacent at this time, until Ebola is fully stamped out and not to loose sight of the health lessons and increased hygiene levels we should all make permanent in our lives. While the temperature guns at point of entry into schools will eventually go, there are other best practices that shouldn’t be discarded and should be kept in mind and observed for keeping children healthy at school. Read on for some steps to keep children healthy and for good habits.

Hand-washing is important

Children touch things everywhere and don’t wash their hands before they touch their eyes, nose and mouth which are entry points for the spread of germs from their hands and body. Teach your children it is important to wash their hands before they eat, after going to the toilet, after playing outside and after blowing their nose.

How children wash their hands is also important, they need to wash their hands long enough by scrubbing and then rinsing thoroughly. Children can be taught to count slowly to ten while washing and scrubbing their hands with soap and water. Preferably hands should be dried under a hand dryer using shared towels should be discouraged.

Using hand sanitizing is good for getting rid of germs but is a distant second option to hand washing. However it is an alternative in the case where there is no easy access to soap and clean water.

Cover the nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing

Teach your children the importance of using a tissue to cover their mouth and nose when they sneeze or cough followed by washing their hands or using hand sanitizer. Provide your children with pocket tissues or tissue box to take to school or pop in their bags for easy access to tissues.

Teach children if they have a runny nose, it is better to blow their nose than sniffling or letting their noses drip onto their hands or elsewhere.

Don’t touch the face

The eyes, nose and mouth are the entryways of germs into the body. Teach children about how germs spread so they become more mindful about how to prevent illnesses by touching their face less.

Don’t share food and utensils

Touching each others food or sharing utensils and water bottles are one of the ways that infections and germs can spread. Teach children to keep their utensils to themselves. It is fine to share things like individual wrapped candy but no to licking the same lollipop.

Improve health through diet

Eating a more nutritious balanced diet will improve your child’s health overall and help reduce their susceptibility to illnesses. A balanced diet is still the best defense against infection and sickness as it increases the level of immunity. Read healthy living tips for the family. 

Get adequate sleep 

Make sure your child gets to sleep early so they get plenty of rest which improves their health and immune system. The number of hours of sleep a child needs differs based on age recommended hours of sleep needed for children here.

Update vaccinations

Make sure that vaccinations are up to date. Vaccinations do help children build immunity to some of the illnesses that they will be exposed to during the school year. It is advisable to pay a visit to your child’s pediatrician for vaccinations due and to get any boosters before resuming school.

Give vitamins

Another way to help your child’s body combat illnesses and stay healthy is to give daily vitamins. As much as we may try children are not likely to get all the daily requirements from food so taking multivitamins is a good supplement to help keep them healthy and strong.

Have sick rules  

No matter how many of these useful steps you follow sometimes children will get sick. It is best to let your children stay home from school when they are unwell. If everyone adopts this rule, children will get better quicker with adequate rest and care. Secondly staying home reduces the spread of germs among the rest of the class. If they return to school too early they usually stay sick longer and pass the illness on to other children.

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