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Banish School Absences And Sick Days With These Back-To-School Health Tips

If you are a parent whose children are returning to school or daycare after a beautiful summer break, you likely have concerns about your children getting sick. Germs and viruses will naturally spread among children when they go to school, and some children will inevitably get sick. There are some things you can do to reduce the chances of your children having absences due to illness. 

Establish a clean hands routine.

Give all of your school-aged children hand sanitizer to use throughout the day when they may not have time to wash their hands. This will kill some of the bacteria on their hands. You should also ensure that they understand that hand sanitizer is a convenience item and that they should opt to wash their hands using soap and water combined with friction when possible. Do not give daycare aged children hand sanitizer due to the chance they might misuse it and harm themselves. Speak with your children's teachers and determine if the classrooms need hand sanitizer donations, which might prevent children from exchanging germs. The CDC recommends scrubbing hands for at least 20 seconds for effective cleansing. Younger children can sing the words to "Happy Birthday" while scrubbing to reach this estimated time. 

Keep nutritious snacks and dinner options readily available.

If your children are busy with extracurricular activities and you work during the school year, you may buy pre-packaged snacks. Some of these snack options may not be nutritious, and growing children need proper nutrition to keep their immune systems healthy. Instead of trying to force your child to eat nutritious snacks, introduce them to new fruits and vegetables. When you determine what they prefer, ensure it is stocked in your home. 

Clean school supplies.

Routinely wipe down items that your child uses at school. Binders, pencils, markers, pens, and backpacks may harbor germs. Wiping these items down with disinfecting wipes can kill bacteria and some viruses. 

Ensure that everyone takes the correct type of multi-vitamins.

It may be impossible for your children to get all of their nutrition needs met through food alone. This is why it makes sense to buy multi-vitamins for them to reduce the chances of vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Keep in mind that you may have to buy different vitamins if you have more than one child. For example, some children may not be able to swallow coated vitamins. You can buy chewable and gummy vitamins instead. Your older children may also have different nutritional needs than your younger children, which is why you should allow your pediatrician to review vitamin labels or advise you on the best vitamins for your children. 

Quarantine sick family members and seek medical attention as soon as possible. 

Germs can pass throughout a household quickly. If a family member is sick, it is important to minimize their contact with other family members and commonly shared items. Otherwise, you run the risk of everyone in your household getting sick and missing work and school. 

Contact a center like Willow Oak Pediatrics for more help.