Classrooms can be a breeding ground for germs, and it is common for kids to pass illnesses to each other. This can result in children bringing these illnesses home and infecting family members, which may have you reaching for remedies such as Wellements baby cough syrup. Fortunately, there are things your child can do to avoid catching a cold now that cold season is almost upon us.
Washing Their Hands
Washing hands is one of the best ways to reduce the spread of illness. Teach your child to wash hands:
- Before and after eating
- After going to the bathroom
- After playing outside
- After handling garbage
- After petting an animal
- After coughing or sneezing
Although washing hands is a great example of personal hygiene, there are other ways your child can take care of him- or herself to stay well. One is to avoid touching surfaces that may have been exposed to germs and viruses and, if avoidable, to wash hands right afterwards.
If another student in the classroom has cold symptoms, your child should try to keep a respectable distance and avoid touching the student’s tissues. If your child is not feeling 100%, there are ways to reduce spreading it to others. One of the best ways is to stay home.
If your child has symptoms but seems to feel fine, you may choose to send him or her to school. Just make sure to teach proper coughing technique, such as coughing into a tissue or the elbow, to keep others from getting sick.
The best thing to do is strengthen the immune system, so if your child does face exposure, immunity will be able to fight off any illness. Keeping your child active is one way to do this. Doing something every day will keep your child healthy.
Plenty of Sleep
Children already need more sleep than adults, and when it is the cold season, they need even more because sleep is when the body heals and prepares to fight off illnesses. Aim for an earlier bedtime, which may be easier during fall and winter when it gets dark sooner. During the weekends, try to get your child to take a nap or, at minimum, take some time to rest the body.
One of the best immune boosters is vitamin D, and the sun is the best source. However, most people are unable to get adequate amounts in the fall and summer, so supplements can help keep levels high. There are additional supplements that you may want to give your child during the cold season to give the immune system a boost. These include:
- Vitamin C
- B vitamins
Elderberry also has antiviral and antibacterial properties to help fight off colds, flus, and other upper respiratory illnesses. Elderberry lollipops are perfect for kids. They taste great and seem more like a treat than a supplement. Because they are organic, you as a parent can feel good about giving them to your child, and there are no artificial flavors or colors.
Cleaning and Disinfecting Classroom Surfaces
Keeping classroom surfaces clean and disinfected is essential to prevent the spread of germs. Teachers and school staff can follow some tips to ensure that the classroom is clean and safe for children.
They can use disinfectant wipes or sprays to clean desks, chairs, doorknobs, light switches, and other frequently touched surfaces. They can also encourage children to use tissues when they sneeze or cough and dispose of them properly. Teachers can also assign a specific area for children to keep their backpacks and school supplies to prevent cross-contamination.
Parents can also take steps to keep their child’s backpack and other school supplies clean. They can use disinfectant wipes or sprays to clean lunch boxes, water bottles, and other items regularly. They can also teach their child to wash their hands after using the restroom and before eating lunch or snacks.
The Importance of Nutrition for Immune Health
Eating a healthy diet is crucial for maintaining a strong immune system. Parents can incorporate immune-boosting foods into their child’s diet by including plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats. They can also limit processed and sugary foods that can weaken the immune system.
Parents can involve their children in meal planning and preparation to encourage healthy eating habits. They can also make sure that their child gets plenty of water and avoid sugary drinks that can dehydrate the body.
Stress Reduction Techniques for Kids
Stress and anxiety can weaken the immune system, so it’s important to teach kids how to manage stress effectively. Parents can help their child reduce stress by encouraging them to practice mindfulness or deep breathing, getting regular exercise, and setting aside time for relaxation and play. They can also limit screen time and encourage activities that promote creativity and social connection.
Parents can also model healthy stress management techniques by practicing them themselves. They can take time for self-care and encourage their child to do the same.
The Benefits of Outdoor Play
Spending time outside can help boost the immune system by exposing children to sunlight and fresh air. Parents and teachers can encourage outdoor play by providing opportunities for children to play outside during recess or breaks. They can also plan outdoor activities such as nature walks, gardening, or picnics.
During cold and flu season, parents can ensure that their child dresses appropriately for the weather and wears layers to stay warm. They can also make sure that their child gets enough rest and stays hydrated.
When to Keep Your Child Home from School
When your child is sick, it’s important to keep them home from school to prevent the spread of illness to other children and teachers. But how do you know when it’s appropriate to keep your child home, and when it’s safe to send them back to school?
The most common symptoms that warrant keeping your child home from school are fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. If your child has a fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher, they should stay home until their temperature returns to normal for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication. This helps ensure that they’re no longer contagious and won’t spread the illness to others.
Similarly, if your child is experiencing vomiting or diarrhea, they should stay home until the symptoms have subsided for at least 24 hours. This helps prevent the spread of gastrointestinal illnesses like norovirus.
Other symptoms that may warrant keeping your child home from school include a persistent cough, sore throat, or rash. If your child has a cough that is severe or accompanied by other symptoms like fever, it’s best to keep them home until they’ve been evaluated by a healthcare provider. If your child has a sore throat, it’s important to check for other symptoms like fever or swollen glands, which could indicate strep throat.
By keeping your child home when they’re sick and waiting until they’re no longer contagious to send them back to school, you can help prevent the spread of illness to others and keep your child and their classmates healthy.
In conclusion, preventing classroom colds for kids involves a multi-faceted approach that includes personal hygiene practices such as washing hands and avoiding touching surfaces, strengthening the immune system through exercise, sleep, and immune supplements, cleaning and disinfecting classroom surfaces, maintaining a healthy diet, reducing stress, and encouraging outdoor play.