My 6 year old started sniffling today - and while my brain registered that it was very likely his allergies kicking in and not the flu – it did remind me that we’ve forgotten to get back into the after-school routine we began last year. Or as I like to call it – Operation Decontamination.
We were getting sick so often from the kids bring home school germs, that I began having them wash their hands and arms as soon as they walked into the door and change into play clothes, putting their germy school clothes into the hamper.
I know it may sound a bit over-the-top, but it was the only way I could think of to stop our whole family from constantly getting whatever was going around the elementary school.
Here are my Top 10 Tips to keep your family free of school-borne illness:
1 ) Keep anti-bacterial wipes in the car, to de-germ as soon as possible after school pickups
2 ) Wash your hands the minute you walk in the door
3 ) Change their clothes upon arriving home
4 ) Sneeze into tissues and then toss them immediately – sneezing into an elbow or sleeve is also better than a hand.
5 ) Take Vitamins (Especially C) to keep their (and your) immune systems strong and resilient
6 ) Teach your kids not to share things like thermoses, cups, food, etc… at school
7 ) Stay informed about illnesses spreading around the school, and don’t be afraid to keep your child home for a “Sick Day” once in awhile when the risk of catching something is high. In the long run, it can prevent them, and you, from having to take extra time off school or work.
8 ) When your kids DO come home sick, switch to paper towels instead of cloth towels for a few days so they won’t spread the germs to other siblings or adults.
9 ) Teach kids to wash hands for at least 20 seconds (That’s how long it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice)
10 ) Exercise, Plenty of Sleep, and Healthy Eating are tried and true ways to keep your body’s defenses up!
What do you do to make sure your family stays healthy all year long?