If your kid has been constantly sick since they started school, you may be experiencing what is commonly called the “back-to-school plague.” This is when viruses like colds, coughs, stomach bugs, and pink eye (conjunctivitis) are widely spread in schools. Children are also spreaders of bacterial infections, like impetigo (a skin infection) and strep throat. With the outbreak of COVID-19, parents now have to worry about this virus spreading as well. Flu season usually happens from late fall to early spring, so parents should look for signs of the flu virus during this time.
There is no 100% foolproof way to prevent all illnesses in children, but there are some steps that parents can take to reduce the spread of germs and diseases when kids go back to school. Here are some tips from your trusted kids’ urgent care clinic:
How to Help Kids Avoid Getting Sick When They Go Back to School
- Teach kids to wash their hands thoroughly and often. Handwashing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs and illnesses. Show kids the correct way to wash their hands (using soap and water, scrubbing for at least 20 seconds), and make sure they know to wash their hands:
- before eating
- after using the restroom
- after coughing or sneezing
- after playing outside
- after handling animals or petting animals
- Teach children to avoid touching their face. This is especially important after they’ve been around other people or touching common surfaces. Touching the eyes, nose, or mouth can transfer germs from our hands to our bodies and make us sick.
- Encourage kids to cough and sneeze into their elbow or a tissue and to throw the tissue away immediately. This will hugely help prevent the spread of bacteria or viruses to others.
- Make kids stay home when they are sick. This is perhaps the most helpful thing that you can do to prevent the spread of illness in school. If your child is sick, keep them home from school and make sure they see a doctor.
- Keep your child’s vaccinations up to date. Vaccinations help to protect kids (and adults) from serious illnesses. Make sure your child is up to date on all of their vaccinations before the school year starts.
- Make sure your kid eats a healthy diet and gets enough sleep. A healthy diet and plenty of sleep can help to boost the immune system, making it easier for kids to fight off illnesses.
- Talk to your child’s school about their illness prevention policies. Some schools have guidelines to help prevent the spread of illness, such as requiring kids to stay home if they are sick or banning sharing of food and drinks. Make sure you know what the policies are so you can help your child to follow them.
These simple tips can greatly reduce the spread of germs and illnesses in school and help keep your child healthy all year long.
What to Do When Your Child Is Sick
No parent wants to see their child sick, but it’s an inevitable part of life, especially when they return to school. When your child is sick, it’s essential to know what to do to help them recover and get back to their usual selves.
First, it’s vital to assess the situation.
If your child has a minor illness, for instance, a cold, you can do a few things to help them feel better. Make sure they’re getting more than enough rest and fluids. A humidifier can also help ease congestion. For older kids, you could maybe give them over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen that can help with fever and pain.
If your child is dealing with a more serious illness, like the flu, it’s important to take them to a pediatric urgent care center. They may have to be hospitalized and given IV fluids and other medications.
There are indeed things that parents and caregivers can do to help reduce the risk of their children getting sick as they go back to school. Some of these include ensuring their children are vaccinated, teaching them good hygiene habits, and keeping them home if they are sick. By taking these precautions, parents can help their children stay healthy and avoid getting sick.
Your Kids Urgent Care provides pediatric urgent care in Oviedo. Whether you need to get medical attention for your child in the middle of the night or on a holiday, our competent physicians and staff can help you. Contact us to learn more about our services!