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Back to School Health

Friday, August 21, 2015

Summer has come to a close and school is gearing up to be back in session. Going back to school takes more than just a new backpack full of supplies. Often, hearing and vision tests along with immunizations are needed for your child before they are ever allowed to enter the classroom. But what about what can happen after entering the classroom? School buses, playgrounds, shared computers, and classrooms have billions of bacteria and germs floating around at any given time. The following are some tips to help your child and even yourself at school or work.

The main thing to practice to prevent spread of disease and illness is washing or sanitizing your hands. To make sure you are doing your best to scrub, follow the below steps yourself as well as practice them with your child regularly.

  1. Wash your hands in warm water. Make sure the water isn't too hot for little or sensitive hands.
  2. Use an antibacterial soap if available and lather up for about 20 seconds. If an antibacterial soap isn’t available, still follow the same steps with a regular soap. Be sure to get in between the fingers and under the nails where germs like to hang out. Don’t forget to scrub up to the wrists.
  3. Rinse and dry well with a clean towel or use an air dryer.

Be sure to stress to younger children the importance of washing their hands without having to be told to do so and also the importance of doing so while at school or in public areas. If you or your child are unable to wash your hands, use hand sanitizer. You can purchase small bottles that easily clip on to a purse or backpack.

While you may not always be able to prevent “catching” something, you can help ensure that you and your child’s body has a good line of defense built up with proper diet. Load your children up with plenty of vegetables and fruits that are strong in antioxidants. If you have a finicky eater, try cutting up food into fun shapes or “hiding” it in casseroles. If those options don’t work, you can try making a game out of eating healthy foods. If you are still worried that your children aren’t getting the proper nutrition they need, consult with your doctor about vitamins and supplements you can give to fill the void.

There are other things to keep in mind that are worth talking to your children about. Advise children to look for bite or teeth marks on pencils or pens that they may be borrowing. If they see any of those indicators, politely decline or ask the teacher for a writing device instead. Also make sure they know to never share lip balm, drinks, or candy or food that has had someone else’s mouth on it before coming to them.

Unfortunately you are not always going to be able to stop you or your child’s contact with germs. But by preparing yourself and them, you can start to build a good line of defense for any viruses or communicable diseases that your family may encounter. For those times that your defenses aren’t enough, be sure to visit your family doctor as quickly as possible to attempt to treat the illness so it doesn’t spread to other household members. Don’t forget to take your FreeRxPlus card with you to save on any prescriptions that you may need filled. If you don’t have one, visit FreeRxPlus.com today to print one instantly.

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