Germs and going back to school
By Edward Stenehjem MD
Aug 28, 2013
Updated Nov 17, 2023
5 min read
Good hand hygiene is key. Washing your hands with soap and water regularly is the single most important thing you can do to prevent germs and sickness from spreading. Many germs are transferred from our hands, so a good tip is to always carry alcohol based hand-washing gel. This hand-washing solution is easy to keep in your pocket, locker, backpack, or desk, making frequent use easy!
Be fully vaccinated. Make sure your kids’ vaccinations are up to date. Flu season is around the corner and the updated flu vaccine generally comes out in September.
Teach your kids about proper cough etiquette. Teach your kids about covering his/her mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing by using a tissue or coughing into the elbow. This also prevents germs from spreading.
Allow kids to stay home when sick. Many times when our kids are sick, we force them to tough it out and send them to school anyway. However, when one of your kids has a fever, vomiting, diarrhea, or a bad cough, keep them home. This action alone will prevent others at school from getting sick and will allow a safer, quicker recovery for your kids.
Be aware of your surroundings. As your kids go from place to place throughout the day at school, they come in contact with so many different objects and environments. Many of these objects are hotbeds for germs, including computer keyboards, computer mouse, doorknobs, and drinking fountains. Teach your kids to be aware of where they're going and what they're touching and to remember to wash his or her hands.
As far as the timing of when you should teach your kids about germs, you can never start too early. As soon as you feel they can understand these simple tips, start teaching about what germs are and how to prevent them.