As the school year begins, parents can find the perfect time to teach your child about good hygiene. While they’re at school, they’ll be exposed to germs and illnesses that you can protect them from at home. Teaching them some helpful basic hygiene habits will help them have much more fun and productive school year. Here are some essential hygiene habits to teach your children.
Keep your hands clean
One of the fastest ways that cold and flu viruses pass from one to another is through our hands, especially at school. When we touch each other and touch shared surfaces, there’s always a chance that we will pick up harmful bacteria and viruses in the process. If you touch your face afterward, those germs can make their way into your system, causing illnesses. Tell your children to wash their hands frequently – especially after playing outside. This includes before and after meals, after touching someone else, and of course, after going to the bathroom.
Teach the ‘vampire cough.’
Coughing and sneezing is another way that germs spread quickly. However, a great way to prevent this is by teaching your child the ‘vampire cough.’ Have them cover their mouth with the inside crook of their elbow, like a vampire holding his cape. It’s a cute and fun way to help them remember good hygiene habits.
Get a flu shot
The flu is more than just an annoyance that comes around every year – it can also cause long term health problems and affect your child’s success in school. Getting a flu shot is very convenient nowadays, with many local pharmacies and clinics offering them. A flu shot now can prevent illness later on. If you aren’t sure where to get a flu shot, ask your school where they would recommend.
Reduce contact with contaminants
It’s also important to educate your child about contaminants and how they can make you sick. Teach your child health and safety habits regarding human waste. However, there are many other contaminants to be aware of in schools. For example, there are many chemicals in science classrooms that can be harmful when misused. Urge them always to be diligent about cleanliness to avoid illness. For very young children, you should also talk about what is and isn’t safe to eat or drink.
Teaching your good child hygiene now will reduce the risk of illness at school and help to keep them healthy. If your child does get the flu, be sure to take them to urgent care right away for treatment! And make sure they get an updated flu shot!