Use these Five Tips to Prevent Back-to-School Sickness
It happens every year. Back to school not only means back to books — it often means back to school germs and sickness.
Classrooms crowded with 20–30 kids are breeding grounds for bacteria and germs. So before school even starts, you may be thinking about how you can avoid back-to-school sicknesses.
1) Make sure vaccines are up to date
Check with your child’s doctor to see if they need any vaccines or boosters. Generally, children going into kindergarten and 6th grade are required to bring in a vaccination record. In Ohio, students entering 7th and 12th grades must have the meningococcal vaccine.
2) Teach kids about good hygiene
Good hygiene is key to staying well. Be sure to talk to your children about:
- Proper hand washing using soap and water, washing both sides of hands and between fingers
- Not sharing drinks with their friends
- Covering their coughs and sneezes, preferably with their elbows and not their hands
- Not sharing things that touch the head, like earbuds, combs, brushes, hats or hair accessories
3) Get back to a regular sleep routine
Over the summer, most kids sleep in and stay up late, so your kids will need to get back into their regular sleep schedules. Use these sleeps recommendations:
- Two weeks before school, change bedtimes and wake times daily by 15 minutes
- Six hours before bed, cut off all caffeine
- One hour before bed, begin baths, brush teeth and lay out clothes
- Twenty minutes before bed, turn off electronics and read a book with your child
4) Consider getting flu shots
The Centers for Disease Control recommends that all children 6 months and older get a flu shot. Reach out to your doctor to schedule a flu shot appointment.
5) Eat and drink to be well
Make sure your kids get plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables, which are high in vitamin C and other immune-boosting nutrients. And staying hydrated can help flush germs out of their systems faster.
If you have any questions about how to keep your children healthy this school year, talk with your doctor. Need a physician in Ohio or Kentucky? Our expert and compassionate team has you covered. Visit mercy.com to find a caregiver near you today.
For more back-to-school stories, read about backpack health and adjusting your child’s schedule.