A new school year means new classes, teachers and friends – but it can also mean colds and stomach bugs shared among students.
“When lots of children are confined in closed spaces for long periods of time, everyone’s germs are shared,” says Michael Lee, M.D., a pediatrician with Children’s Health℠ and Associate Professor at UT Southwestern. “These ‘germs’ are mostly viruses and can linger on classroom desks, tables or doorknobs for fellow students to be exposed to.”
Proper hand hygiene is the best way to avoid common school illnesses. Teach children to wash their hands throughout the day, especially after using the restroom and before and after eating.
In addition, simple healthy habits can help boost your child’s immune system and ward off coughs, colds and other bugs. Focus on these four tips as your child starts a new school year:
• Make sure your child gets the recommended amount of sleep.
• Keep stress at a minimum.
• Stay up to date with your child’s vaccinations.
• Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.
See more tips for establishing healthy habits and keeping students healthy.