Re­duce kids’ risk of get­ting colds at school

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - YOU AT YOUR BEST - METRO CRE­ATIVE SER­VICES

School-aged kids who catch colds or the u from their class­mates can quickly spread those colds to their fam­ily mem­bers, who then might spread the colds fur­ther when they go to work. Pre­vent­ing the spread of colds and u at school is a team ef­fort that re­quires the as­sis­tance of not just par­ents, but also teach­ers and stu­dents. Still, par­ents might be the rst line of de­fense when it comes to pre­vent­ing the spread of cold and u at school. Ac­cord­ing to the U.S. Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion, more than 38 mil­lion school days are lost to the u each year. Those lost days can af­fect stu­dents who miss les­son plans, but also af­fect par­ents, who of­ten must take days off from work to tend to their sick chil­dren. While there’s no way for par­ents to guar­an­tee their chil­dren won’t catch a cold or the u this school year, they can take var­i­ous pre­ven­tive mea­sures to in­crease kids’ chances of stay­ing healthy and achiev­ing per­fect at­ten­dance.

Make sure kids are im­mu­nized and that their im­mu­niza­tions are cur­rent

Vac­ci­na­tions bol­ster kids im­mune sys­tems. That’s im­por­tant, as kids’ im­mune sys­tems are nat­u­rally less ma­ture than adults’, mak­ing them more vul­ner­a­ble to germs and viruses. The CDC rec­om­mends that adults and chil­dren re­ceive their u vac­ci­na­tions in Oc­to­ber while not­ing that such vac­ci­na­tions can be ad­min­is­tered as late as Jan­uary and still prove ef­fec­tive. The CDC also rec­om­mends that adults and chil­dren re­ceive u vac­ci­na­tions each year. Ad­di­tional vac­ci­na­tions may not need to be ad­min­is­tered as of­ten, but par­ents should still en­sure kids’ are up-to-date with their shots.

Make sure kids reg­u­larly wash their hands

Kids of­ten catch colds by rub­bing their hands that have been ex­posed to cold virus germs on their noses or eyes. To pre­vent that, par­ents can teach kids to wash to their hands thor­oughly, in­clud­ing scrub­bing the backs of their hands, be­tween their ngers and around their nger­nails. Kids should know to wash their hands reg­u­larly, but es­pe­cially af­ter they use the bath­room and be­fore they eat, drink or touch their mouths, noses or eyes.

Keep kids home when they are sick

Par­ents don’t want their chil­dren to miss school, but kids who are suf­fer­ing from colds or u should be kept home. This pre­vents the spread of colds and u to class­mates and teach­ers, and time to rest at home may help young­sters re­cover more quickly.

Teach kids to avoid com­mon germ spots

Germs can be lurk­ing any­where, but some spots seem to make more wel­come homes for germs than oth­ers. Stud­ies have shown that kids were most likely to en­counter germs in schools on wa­ter foun­tain spig­ots and on plas­tic cafe­te­ria trays. Teach kids to never put their mouths on foun­tains and to avoid eat­ing any food that might fall onto their trays in the cafe­te­ria. School-aged chil­dren are sus­cep­ti­ble to colds and u when spend­ing time in the class­room. But par­ents can re­duce their young­sters’ cold and u risk in var­i­ous ways.

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