When it’s flu season, classrooms are a breeding ground for germs. Teach your kids these easy tips so they can avoid catching this year’s bug in school.
Children are especially vulnerable to infection by viruses, such as the influenza virus. There are many varieties of the flu, including the seasonal flu, swine flu and avian flu or bird flu. Using good hygiene and following your doctor’s recommendations for immunizations can help kids to avoid colds and flu infections while at school, even when the other kids are sick.
Avoid the Flu With Good Hygiene
Want your kids to stay healthy while everyone else is going to the doctor? Try these simple tips for better hygiene in the classroom.
Wash Hands Correctly to Avoid Infection: Encourage your children to wash their hands frequently. Clean hands can help them avoid catching colds and flu, whether they’re at home or at school. It’s important for children to learn the correct method of hand-washing, in order for this to be effective. Wash hands thoroughly, using soap and hot water, for about the same amount of time that it takes to sing the ABC’s. Many schools have sinks in the classroom, so teachers can assist by encouraging the kids to sing along with the alphabet song, or by setting a timer for each child.
Use Antibacterial Wipes for Better Hygiene: Send anti-bacterial wipes to school with your kids. If they can’t get to a sink to wash their hands, an anti-bacterial wipe is better than nothing. They can also wipe desks, lunch tables, and other communal surfaces to kill flu germs and prevent infection. Encourage them to clean shared pencils, pens, and even the covers of schoolbooks with sanitizing wipes, to avoid germ colonies.
Cover Sneezes to Stop the Spread of Germs: To stop the spread of germs when flu season starts sending kids home from school, teach your kids the correct way to cover their sneezes. Typically, people tend to sneeze into their hands, but this spreads the germs to every surface that they touch after the sneeze. While it is better to sneeze into hands, rather than into the air, there is a better way to cover a sneeze. Teach your kids to sneeze into the crook of their arm, instead. This keeps the germs in an out-of-the-way place, preventing them from spreading everywhere.
Keep Your Hands Down: Despite all the available methods for reducing the flu germs on hands and surfaces, kids will still pick up germs on their hands. In order to help your child avoid getting sick this flu season, teach him not to touch his face. Every time he touches his face with germy hands, he’s giving the germs a free ride to his eyes, nose and mouth – prime routes into the body.
Staying Healthy During Flu Season
It takes more than clean hands to stay healthy while everyone around you has the flu. Try these tips to keep your illness at bay this winter.
Get the Flu Shot: Getting the flu shot, or the inhaled version of the flu vaccine, can reduce the chances of infection with swine flu or seasonal flu, which contains components of the avian flu. The flu vaccination is particularly important for kids under the age of 5, since they are at a heightened risk of complications from the flu virus. Consult your doctor before seeking immunization, since some immunizations contain eggs and other allergens.
Common Sense Habits: Parents can help kids avoid dangerous flu infections at school by teaching children the correct way to wash their hands, and how to avoid spreading germs when they sneeze. In addition, providing anti-bacterial wipes, and helping kids to get out of the habit of touching their face can also help kids to avoid catching the flu at school.
Be Prepared for Flu Outbreaks
The symptoms of a flu virus infection can be similar to the symptoms of the common cold, but complications of the flu can be fatal. You can reduce your child’s risk of serious illness by avoiding infection from those contagious with the flu.