School is in session and many parents want to make sure their children avoid illnesses this academic year. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, “Colds tend to be more common in fall and winter months when children are indoors and in closer contact with each other.”
Following are tips Dr. Millicent Moye, medical director of Action Health Center, gives to help parents keep their children clean and germ-free this school year.
Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper: How can parents prepare and protect their children from illness this school year?
Moye: Teach them good hand washing practices, which means using hot water and soap. You can use hand sanitizers, but soap is always best. The second thing is making sure all their immunizations are up to date with their primary care doctor. Parents can also come to the Action Health Center for resources.
What are some products students should have to keep clean?
They can carry small bottles of hand sanitizer in their backpack or towelettes. I caution young kids using these methods, though. They may misuse them.
How do you recommend stopping the spread of germs between children?
When (children) cough, they should cough into their arm and not their hand, bringing their arm in front of their mouth. If you think about it, we touch a lot of surfaces and each other. Then you touch your face and your nose. Those are two of the leading ways bacteria gets into our bodies – through those mucus membranes.
What is your advice for teachers on keeping the classroom clean?
Keep Lysol around, that’s always a good disinfectant. Also wipe the desks and commonly shared items. Wipe those down between classes and at the beginning and end of the day. Also have signs promoting good hygiene and encourage students to follow them.
If a child becomes ill, what should they do?
If you are sick, stay home. Sick meaning running a fever over 100.3 degrees, having diarrhea or vomiting. It’s easy to spread disease that way.
For more information on the Action Health Center, visit mchd.com/ac.htm.