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Avoiding the Back-to-School Plague

Written by Debbi Spiegel  |  30. August 2013

Let's be honest.  Kids bring home a lot more than homework from school.  They are little germ carriers.  We always thought that teaching our children to share was important.  Well, it is except for germs.  How many times does one person get sick in the house?  The next thing you know the whole family should be quarantined.  Here are my kid-tested and mother approved ides of how to avoid the back-to-school plague year round.

On average, elementary school children get eight to 12 colds or cases of the flu each school year, according to the CDC. For the older kids, it is about half that. The numbers are even higher for pre-schoolers. Teachers and parents commonly refer to it as the Back-to-School Plague.  There are many good health habits adults can teach kids to help minimize the spreading of germs. The healthy habits should begin at home and then reinforced at school.

But there are simple ways to keep your kids healthy.  Whether it's washing hands while singing happy birthday two times, learning to cough into the crook of an arm when no tissue is nearby, or keeping a healthy distance from others when sick, there are good habits that can help keep the cooties away.

These healthy habits will keep your kids happy and out of the pediatrician's office. Makes sure they get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly and eat healthy food. Teaching children to wash their hands often is important too.  Another idea is to give them an anti-bacterial wipe in their snack bags and lunchboxes.  Sometimes they just cannot get to a sink before eating.

  • Sleep deprivation lowers the immune system's ability to fight off infection. 
  • Wearing proper clothing for the weather is important too.  If it's cold, children need to keep their jackets zipped and hats on their heads.  Looking cool is not the primary purpose here.
  • Foods rich in Vitamin C don't keep colds away altogether, but they can shorten the length of a cold.
  • The "school plague" was more of an elementary school thing, but with increasing pressure to get good grades, some older students come to school sick. And that gets others sick.

Let us know how you will keep your family healthy. Maybe an apple a day will really keep the doctor away.

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