Believe it or not, the best safeguard against kids catching something at school and sharing it with siblings is hand washing.
Hand Washing is critical. There is no easy way to instill the habit in children. Parents and teachers just have to continually remind the kids to wash their hands.
The Center for Disease Control brochure, "An Ounce of Prevention Keeps the Germs Away," outlines when and how to wash hands:
When to Wash:
– Before, during, and after preparing food.
– Before eating.
– After using the bathroom.
– After changing a diaper.
– After handling animals, their toys, leashes or waste.
– After contact with blood or body fluids, such as vomit, nasal secretions , or saliva.
– When your hands are dirty.
– Before dressing a wound, giving medicine, or inserting contact lenses.
– More frequently if someone in your home is sick.
– Whenever they look dirty.
How to Wash:
– Wet hands and apply soap.
– Rub hands vigorously for 10 seconds.
– Rinse hands under running water.
– Dry hands with a paper towel or air dryer.
– If possible, use your paper towel to turn off faucet.
– If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based wipe.
Besides hand washing, kids should learn not to share eating utensils or drinks.
It is also very important for kids to eat breakfast and get enough rest. Establish regular bedtimes. Teens, in particular, need more sleep than they get.
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