Back to school and germs!  What you can do to keep your kids healthy

It’s every parents favourite time of year – back-to-school!

Finally, after a long summer of camping, day-tripping, lazy days and no homework, the kids are back in the classroom and on a regular routine again. But schools are one of the biggest breeding grounds for germs and infections, which means back-to-school often comes with a whole slew of colds and illnesses, and that sometimes means staying home again.

Children who have already been to school are not as susceptible since their immune systems have already been working to fight off germs and infections. But the little ones who are entering school or daycare for the first time are prime targets, as they have not yet been as exposed to all the different germs yet.

 

 

 

How do you treat and prevent Cold and flu during back to school?

Sick boy
Most school-aged children will have at least 6 to 8 colds a year. Sometimes it’s difficult to distinguish between a cold and the flu since they often present with similar symptoms, however, cold symptoms are usually milder. 

Flu symptoms often include headaches, body aches, high fever and vomiting, in addition to the regular sniffling and sneezing. And cold symptoms come on gradually, while flu symptoms develop abruptly.


While there is no direct way to prevent the cold or flu since it’s spread through germs, there are ways you can try to prevent it:
  • Teach your kids that hand washing is very important and should be done after using the bathroom, before eating, and whenever else necessary
  • Have them change their clothes after school and before bed
  • Give them a healthy diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables to help keep their immune system strong and able to fight infections
  • Ensure they get a good night’s sleep
  • Disinfect surfaces in your home and wherever else they spend their time
  • Giving them the flu shot is an option
  • If your child is sick, keep them home so they don’t spread their illness to other children

 

How do you prevent stomach flu during back to school?

Sick girl
The stomach flu/bug is also one of the most common issues in school aged children. Symptoms include abdominal cramps, vomiting, diarrhea and sometimes fever. Stomach bugs are caused by ingesting contaminated food or water or being in contact with someone who has already been infected.

There is no instant cure for the stomach bug, but there are preventive measures your kids can take.
  • Hand washing is the best way to stop the spread of germs
  • Hand sanitizer is also a good alternative when you can’t wash
  • Give them some probiotics to improve their gut flora
  • Disinfect surfaces in your home, including toys and other items they use on a regular basis
  • If your child is sick, keep them home so they don’t spread their illness to other children

 

How do you prevent strep throat during back to school season!


coughing girl
Strep throat is most common in children. It is a bacterial infection that can make your throat feel sore and scratchy. It is often accompanied by a stomach ache, headache, cough and extremely sore throat. It is highly contagious and is easily spread through the respiratory system. Sharing food or drinks with others, and picking up bacteria from surfaces like toys after touching their face will do it. Strep can be eliminated with antibiotics and good, old fashioned bed rest. But there are things you can do to help prevent it.

  • Again, hand washing is the best way to stop the spread of germs
  • Hand sanitizer is also a good alternative when you can’t wash
  • Give them a healthy diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables to help keep their immune system strong
  • Ensure they get a good night’s sleep
  • Disinfect surfaces in your home, including toys and other items they use on a regular basis
  • If your child is sick, keep them home so they don’t spread their illness to other children