How to Avoid Back-to-School Bugs

September 25, 2017


It never seems to fail! By the time the new school year rolls around, and just as you’re getting your new family routine in place, somebody gets sick. Pretty soon, everyone’s back in the bed battling who knows what and your routine is out the window. Nobody likes to be stuck at home sick, and the consequences can be more stressful than just a blown schedule. With the pace of academics these days, a few days off can mean loads of homework, multiple make-up tests, and hours of lost instruction. You can’t always stop your kids from getting sick, but you can help increase the odds of staying healthy by reminding them about these commonsense tips that really do help.


Healthy Hands; Happy Home

Children 1 year or older can always use reminding that frequent hand washing is one of the most effective ways to fight the spread of illness. By their very nature, small children love to touch things! It’s easy to see how an infectious illness rapidly spreads: A child who’s not feeling very well decides to play with a ball. Now another child picks that same ball up and plays with it just before lunch. Reminding them to wash their hands regularly before eating, after using the toilet and after sneezing can go a long way toward keeping them healthy — AND check the spread of infection. Healthy Tip: Pack hand sanitizer for those times when it’s not easy to go to the bathroom.


Cover Your Sneeze, Please

An uncovered cough or sneeze is one of the quickest ways to spread a virus. What one child blows out, the others around breathe in. Encourage your child to use a tissue to cover their coughs and sneezes. Always dispose of a used tissue properly and wash or sanitize your hands afterward. Healthy Tip: The inside of your elbow is the next best place for a cough or sneeze if a tissue isn’t handy.


Look, Mom! No Hands!

It might be next to impossible to keep the preschool set from doing this, but start teaching your child as soon as possible to keep their hands out of their mouths and away from their noses. For some older kids, the battle might be over the biting of fingernails. Healthy Tip: It’s also a good idea to remind them not to share drinks or foods.


Keeping up-to-date on vaccinations, eating healthy, and getting plenty of sleep all play an important role in keeping your child healthy. And let’s face it — while these tips may seem mostly geared toward small children, older kids and even teenagers need to hear them as well.


Of course, we all know how attentive children are to their parents’ advice! For those times when your child comes home with a fever or the sniffles, AFC Urgent Care West Long Branch will be there to help, bringing you the right care — right now. We’ll help get you and your family back in your routine before you know it.


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