Going to school for the first time is an exciting new stage in your child’s development, but it also brings with it an increased risk of illness. Schools can be germ factories with illnesses quickly spreading between kids, especially the littler ones who don’t always practice good cleanliness.
Luckily there are precautions you can take and habits you can teach your toddler or preschooler to minimize the risk of getting sick. Although none of these will guarantee your kid won’t get sick, they will at least reduce the risk.
- Wash hands frequently. Hand washing is still the best way to prevent your kid from getting sick. Teach her to wash her hands before eating, after going to the bathroom or playing outside, and whenever you come home from school, shopping, or running errands. To ensure she’s doing a thorough job, teach your child to sing a song like “Row Row Row Your Boat” while soaping.
- Use hand sanitizer. At times when hand washing isn’t an option, get your child into the habit of using hand sanitizer. Show her how to rub all surfaces of her hands, including the backs and in between her fingers, until the sanitizer dries.
- Cover coughs and sneezes. Covering up will limit the spread of germs. Teach your child to cough or sneeze into a tissue or the crook of her elbow, instead of using her hands.
- Hands off! Kids touch their faces a lot, especially small kids. Many kids put their hands in their mouths, too. Encourage your child to keep her hands away from her face, especially when she’s at school or out in public, where she is more exposed to germs.
- Keep it to yourself. Teach your child that anything she puts in or near her mouth, including water bottles, food or drinks, or lip balm, is for her alone and shouldn’t be shared, nor should she share anyone else’s with them.
- Check the school’s sick policy. A good sick policy will require that parents keep kids home if they have a communicable illness with symptoms such as a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea, or an eye infection.
Montessori Childrens House is a Fremont school devoted to providing the best possible environment where children can grow, learn, and be healthy. To find out more about our Montessori programs, please contact us.