Whether the world is in the middle of a global pandemic or it’s a regular school year, kids get sick a lot. Young children don’t always have a particularly good grasp on hygiene and preventing the spread of germs, so illnesses spread around the classroom quickly. If your kids don’t understand how to stay healthy, chances are they’ll bring home a lot of colds, coughs and worse. Here’s how to keep your school kids healthy in Phoenix, AZ.
How kids get sick at school
In normal years, when children are in school for up to eight hours per day, illnesses spread fast. Most childhood sickness is caused by viruses. When the kids cough or sneeze, they release respiratory droplets into the air. Those can be inhaled. If they land on surfaces like desks, chairs and other objects, children can touch the surfaces and their eyes, noses or mouths. (If this sounds familiar, it’s the same way COVID-19 spreads.)
How to prevent illness
While childhood illnesses can spread quickly, there are a few things you can do to keep your kids healthy:
- Teach the importance of handwashing: Most young kids can understand the importance of washing their hands. Teach them to wash their hands after using the bathroom, before eating a meal and after coughing, sneezing or blowing their noses. Show them how to do it properly: they can sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice to time themselves. Obviously, using soap and water is a must, too. If they can’t wash their hands, show them how to use hand sanitizer instead. For especially young children, rewards like a sticker chart or making a game out of it can be helpful.
- Don’t share food: Kids love to share, but sharing food they’ve already started eating can spread illness. Teach your kids not to share their food with others, unless it’s still in packaging.
- Stay away from other sick kids: If there are other sick kids at school, children should keep their distance. Coughing, sneezing and sniffling are all signs of illness—kids should learn that if their classmates are ill, they should avoid coming in close contact.
- Cover your nose and mouth: Make it your family policy that everyone who has to cough or sneeze should cover their mouths with a tissue, or cough or sneeze into their elbow if no tissue is available. This will help to control the spread of respiratory droplets in the air or on surfaces.
- Don’t touch your face: Finally, just like the experts’ COVID-19 guidance has taught us, you should teach your kids to keep their hands away from their eyes, noses and mouths. This will stop the spread of germs they’ve picked up from surfaces.
Although teaching children hygiene can seem like an uphill battle, it’s a good way to make sure they bring home as few illnesses as possible.
Are you interested in enrolling your child in a K-12 charter school in Phoenix, AZ? Call Pointe Schools or visit our website today for more information.