Cold and Flu SeasonPosted: December 5, 2014
Dear Parents and Friends of ISBerne,
The average child has six to 10 colds a year–and every parent knows how easily colds are passed to other family members once one child gets sick! Children’s immune systems are less mature than those of adults, so they’re more susceptible to germs.
At school, kids are in close contact with each other, and they tend to have ‘germy’ habits, such as sticking fingers and objects in their mouths–perfect behaviours for spreading colds.
What can a parent do? Stopping cold germs where they breed is your best defense. Following the simple measures below can go a long way in preventing most illness.
1. Know How and When to Wash Hands
Children usually don’t wash their hands often enough or well enough at school. In one study of middle and high school students, about half washed their hands after using the bathroom — and only 33% of the girls and 8% of the boys used soap. Colds germs are passed and acquired by touching our eyes, noses and mouths, so washing hands, often and well, is critical.
2. Don’t Share at School
Children should not be sharing food, drinks or lip balm. Items such as gym towels, sports uniforms, etc. should also never be shared. With younger children, it may be difficult to avoid sharing books and toys in the classroom. Therefore, best to remind younger children to wash their hands often and avoid touching their eyes, mouth, or nose until they do.
3. Keep Backpacks Clean
As any parent knows, school backpacks can get pretty grimy from long-forgotten lunches and all the other things children stuff into them. Have your child clean out his backpack every day. And while your child is cleaning out their backpack, remind them to bring dirty gym clothes home to wash.
4. Build Immunity
Help protect your child from inside! Make sure that he/she gets enough sleep and exercise, avoids stress, and eats a well-balanced diet. Students should be drinking water (not soft drinks or caffeinated drinks!) during the day to cleanse their immune systems.
Finally, if your child is unwell, we always encourage rest at home. Health and well-being should always take precedence over academics.