School can be a germ-rich environment. This, coupled with a less mature immune system, sometimes makes it challenging to keep kids healthy. Here are some healthy habits you and your kids can work on together to reduce their amount of sick days as summer ends and school begins in the coming weeks.
Soap and water
Clean hands are one of the simplest methods of illness prevention. Several times a day for at least twenty seconds make it your responsibility to keep them clean; when you wake up, before bed, before meals and after using the bathroom. When on the go, use hand sanitizer or antibacterial baby wipes, but don’t overdo it. Overuse can also strip away positive bacteria.
Hands to your side
Hand touches dirty toy; hand goes directly into nose and mouth. There’s a logic to some etiquette: not biting your nails or picking your nose also helps to prevent the spread of germs. Clean hands, away from your face, and many food borne illnesses along with numerous spreadable diseases can be prevented using this very simple and obvious technique.
Good rest, good food
Healthy bodies are less susceptible to illness. Kids between the ages of 5 to 10 should get around ten hours of sleep daily. Make sure their diets are rich in vegetables, fruit, lean proteins and fiber. Chewable vitamins for kids can also be helpful. For picky eaters, disguise cooked vegetables in food by finely mincing them and hiding them in their favorite dishes.
Keep it to yourself
Sneeze or cough into covered hands, inside the crook of your elbow, or generally away from people’s direction. Disposable hospital masks are common in Asia to help prevent a virus from spreading, especially if your child is susceptible or already sick. Your child can choose a mask with a fun pattern or design to make it feel less alienating amongst their classmates. Also, sharing is caring, but not with classmates’ eating utensils and straws.
When contagious illness does eventually happen, be the responsible citizen and keep your kids out of school, aftercare, and play dates. Rest is key to recovery. It’s also a move that can save other kids from missing class themselves.