How to Keep Your School (and Your Kids) Sickness-Free


With the new school year comes increased opportunities for sickness. Learn four hygiene tips to teach your children.

For many, the beginning of the new school year is an exciting time. New opportunities arise, and there are always chances for your kids to make new friends and be more “at home” in the classroom. On the other side of the coin, however, come new opportunities for sickness.

As a parent, there are very few things in life that are more heartbreaking than having a sick child, and knowing that apart from supplying medicine, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it until the illness has run its course.

The only thing that can be done, honestly, is to prevent these illnesses from getting your kids in the first place. This is where teaching your children good habits comes into play. If your kids learn good hygiene habits, they can still do what they enjoy. It is very possible to play football, play games and sit with friends at lunch without having to get sick from bacteria or viruses afterwards.

The Mayo Clinic has put together a short list of good classroom hygiene tips and, because they put it so eloquently and succinctly, we’ve included four of their tips below:

  • “Use hand sanitizer.”

    “Give your child alcohol-based hand sanitizer to keep in his or her desk or backpack. Remind your child to use the sanitizer before eating snacks or lunch and after using a shared computer mouse, pencil sharpener, water fountain or other community objects. You might also donate disinfecting wipes to the classroom for general use.”

  • “Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.”

    “Give your child a package of tissues to keep in his or her desk. Encourage your child to cough or sneeze into a tissue — then put the tissue in the trash, and wash his or her hands or use hand sanitizer. If it isn’t possible to reach a tissue in time, remind your child to cough or sneeze into the crook of his or her elbow.”

  • “Keep your hands away from your eyes and out of your mouth.”

    “Remind your child that hands are often covered in germs.”

  • “Don’t share water bottles, food or other personal items.

    “Offer your child this simple rule — if you put the item in your mouth, keep it to yourself.”

With all of that in mind, though, we think the number one tip to keeping your school (and your kids) sickness-free is to stress the importance of washing your hands. It sounds elementary, but guess what: so is spelling, and there are many people who still don’t do it very well.

Washing hands is something that should be done at every opportunity (within reason, of course).  When done in conjunction with what the Mayo Clinic suggests, you won’t have to worry about the health and safety of your children nearly as much.  Sure, not everyone will be as careful as you, but frankly there’s nothing you can do about that. All that you can do is give your kids the tools and habits they need to stay as healthy as possible.

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