A child meeting with her doctor
Pediatric Health

How to Protect Your Kids From Bacteria and Viruses This School Year

08/09/2022

It's almost time for back to school! Getting your children prepared for the school year is one thing, but protecting them during the school year is another. Read our blog on how to protect your kids from bacteria and viruses and get ready to rock this school year!

As we approach the upcoming school season, you might be concerned about the health of your kids. School environments can be ideal breeding grounds for bacteria and viruses. If your child gets sick, they might need medical treatment and could even infect you or others around them.

Although we’re still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccines have made it possible to prevent severe disease. The precautions that your child’s school takes against COVID-19 can vary and often depends on your local regulations. Still, young children can experience different infections, such as the common cold, as their immune systems are still developing. Despite an increased risk of exposure to bacteria and viruses, there are ways to keep your child healthy and less likely to experience serious infections.

Continue reading to learn more about how to protect your child from germs during the school year.

Stay up to date on immunizations

One of the most effective ways to protect your child is to make sure they’re up to date on their vaccinations. Healthcare providers often recommend a specific vaccine schedule according to the age of the child. You can ask your healthcare provider and read over the official vaccine schedule so you can be proactive about your child’s health. In some cases, your child may need booster shots.

Check with the school's requirements (if they have any) to ensure your child can stay enrolled. The COVID-19 vaccines have also been approved for children under 5. Vaccines can help prevent severe disease and the spread of the infection.

Teach basic hand washing and hygiene

Decreasing exposure to different bacteria and viruses can be as simple as washing your hands. Teach your children about basic hand washing guidelines, such as washing their hands for at least 20 seconds or the duration of singing the “Happy Birthday” song twice. You can explain the importance of washing their hands often, as bacteria and viruses can live on various surfaces, such as door knobs and desks.

Teach your children to avoid touching their eyes, mouth, and nose with dirty hands. Explain to them how to sneeze into the crease of their arm and elbow to avoid spreading germs to their hands and environment.

Promote general healthy habits

An essential way of guarding against infections is to take care of your general, overall health. You should aim to feed your children a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables that contain important vitamins, such as vitamin C and D.

Encourage your children to stay active at school or through extracurricular activities. They might be interested in a particular sport. Staying active can help prime the body against stress.

Another important part of staying healthy is getting enough sleep. Show your children good sleep hygiene habits, such as turning off the television, cell phone, or other electronics at least a couple of hours before bed. You might teach them to have a bedtime routine to wind down before sleeping. Meditating before sleep can help reduce stress and relax the body, as stress can weaken the immune system. Studies show that poor sleep can cause stress and disrupt the ability of the body to fight bacteria and viruses.

Bottom line

The best way to protect against germs at school is to be prepared. If your child is up to date on vaccinations, knowledgeable about good hygiene practices, and overall healthy, they should be less likely to catch a serious infection. If they do get sick, they’ll be able to fight off an infection quickly. If your kids require prescription medications to treat an illness, you may be able to save up to 80% on brand and generic medications with Inside Rx. Inside Rx can soon save you on vaccinations for your family as well!

Taking your child to get an annual checkup can also help reinforce health tips and advice from a healthcare provider. If you have any concerns about your child’s health, you should talk to their pediatrician.

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