How to Avoid or Prevent Back-to-School Sickness
Back to school is an exciting time from meeting new teachers, making new friends, and catching up with old friends after summer break. But whether your child is starting kindergarten or off to college, you’ve probably noticed the new school year also brings colds, coughs, sniffles, and other illnesses. There is no secret formula that will keep your child from getting sick, but there are ways to minimize and prevent sickness when your kids go back to school.
How can I keep my child from getting sick at school?
The number one way to prevent your child from getting sick at school is to encourage them to wash their hands. Regular hand washing is the most effective way to prevent the spread of many illnesses. Teach your child proper hand washing by scrubbing their hands with soap for 20 seconds (about the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday).
If your child can’t wash their hands, have them use hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol. Consider buying them a hand sanitizer case they can easily clip onto their backpack.
Your child should wash their hands or use hand sanitizer after:
- Blowing their nose
- Touching door handles, desks, handrails, or common use items
- Going to the bathroom
- Before and after eating
Also, teach and review with your child proper hygiene techniques, like sneezing or coughing into a tissue or elbow. Droplets from a cough or sneeze can cover surfaces and easily transfer to your child’s face. Also make sure they understand to keep their hands away from the face and mouth after touching surfaces and shared items.
How can I boost my child’s immune system?
Your child’s immune system is their best defense against getting sick when they’re back to school, so you want to help them keep it in top working condition. Here are a few ways to do that.
Offer your child healthy food choices.
Sugar is one of the biggest enemies to the immune system. Sugar may cause sore throats and strep throat in children, so it’s best to avoid junk food as much as possible.
For meals and snacks, make fruits, vegetables, and lean meats available to your child. Getting the right amount of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fats will help your child’s immune system fight off any sicknesses.
Make sure your child is getting enough sleep.
Getting the right amount of sleep at any age is important to keeping your child’s immune system strong and giving their body time to repair. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends:
- 10 to 13 hours of total sleep for preschoolers
- 9 to 12 hours daily sleep for children between ages 6 to 12
- Teens should get 8 to 10 hours of sleep each day
Set an age-appropriate bedtime for your child and make sure their sleeping space is set up for restful sleep. Younger children may benefit from a bedtime routine.
Help your child manage their stress.
Stress can overwhelm your child’s immune system, so check in with them as they get ready for back to school. Address any concerns they tell you about and teach them techniques to help reduce their stress or anxiety. Make sure your child’s schedule allows them some free time to play or participate in extracurricular activities, but don’t let their schedule become overloaded.
Consider adding immune-boosting supplements to fight back-to-school illnesses.
At KidsWellness, we believe the best way to protect your child from getting colds, coughs, or other illnesses at school is to protect their bodies now. Our organic and wild crafted herbal remedies aid your child’s body in the healing process and enhances their immune system.