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How To Pass The Back-To-School Germ Test

Back To School markers, crayons and Trapper Keepers? Check. New clothes and backpacks? Got them.

But what about a winning plan that will allow your kiddos to beat the back-to-school germs?

Parents’ back-to-school planning isn’t complete until they have a smart game plan to keep their favorite students safe from the harmful pathogens that can sideline their learning. With kids learning and playing in close proximity and sharing supplies and equipment, America’s schools are Grand Central Stations for germs.

Germs race with kids onto the playground, into the classroom and straight into the cafeteria. Each year K-12 students miss an estimated 60 million school days to colds and the flu.

“Children gathering in schools is one of the main ways germs circulate in communities,” Athena P. Kourtis, MD, PhD, pediatrician and author of “Keeping Your Child Healthy In A Germ-Filled World,” told WebMD.

School germs can number in the millions, but having your kids take good anti-germ measures can keep them in class and safe from germs’ sickly wrath.

Strict Bedtimes

A good night’s rest is a child’s best weapon to stay focused and out of trouble in the classroom. The Centers for Disease Control recommends school-age children get at least 10 hours of sleep per night. Adequate sleep also strengthens the immune system, helping kids fight off infections more easily. Sleep deprivation lowers immune system’s ability to fight off infections.

High Quality H20

Staying hydrated during the school day provides a number of health benefits for kids. Pack a water bottle in your child’s lunch to encourage them to drink water at school. Water bottles also help kids avoid one of the school’s germiest places: The water fountain.

Clean Hands Stop Germs

Washing their hands doesn’t top any kids’ list of favorite things to do, but hand washing with soap and water is one of kids’ best defenses against infections. Kids love to touch their eyes, nose and mouth often, transmitting germs on their hands into their bodies. Hand-washing counter-acts kids’ busy hands and reduces the risk of respiratory infection by 24 percent and gastrointestinal infections like diarrhea by more than 30 percent.

Parents should teach their children the importance of washing their hands after going to the bathroom, after recess and before eating.

Sanitary Hands

Packing hand sanitizer like B4 Brands Avant Fragrance Free Instant Hand Sanitizer in your kids’ back packs can help them keep their hands clean in places where soap and water is unavailable.

Cover Coughs and Sneezes

Good respiratory etiquette stops germs in their tracks.

Parents and teachers can help prevent kids’ transmission of germs by teaching them to cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze. When tissues aren’t available, kids should cough into their elbows or shirt sleeves.

Flu Shots Prevent The Flu Blues:

An estimated 5 to 20 percent of Americans come down with the flu each year, and the virus claims the lives of up to 50,000 Americans per year. Kids are at higher risk for flu-like symptoms than any other segment of the population. The CDC reports the average elementary school student will catch 8-12 colds per school year. Vaccinations are the best way to keep kids’ colds from developing into the flu. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends everyone over the age of six months receive an annual flu vaccine.

Germs will invade your favorite students’ schools in full force this fall, but by taking smart anti-germ measures, you can your kids from catching the back-to-school germ blues.

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