Thursday, August 6, 2009

Ready for School?

Stores are crowded, kids are excited,and parents are stressed. Traffic starts to get bad and we all know school will soon be back in full swing. While getting the new pens, pencils, notebooks and clothes, I wanted to be sure parents are aware of the necessity to prepare the kids for a potentially serious fall and winter. H1N1 or swine flu, brings a huge threat of outbreak this school year. We saw some of the initial outbreak earlier this year. When it returns, and it will, it will have had time to strengthen. There is much information circulating about the drawbacks and concerns regarding the ability to immunize against an outbreak . Here are some things parents can do to help their kids guard against infection before they get back to class. Good nutrition is a given, but honestly parents, this one is on you!Good nutrition is important but we all know kids are going to eat junk, so a good multivitamin is a nice safeguard. Teach kids the proper hand washing technique and the need to washing their hands before and after bathroom visits and before eating. This is the number one thing kids can do to help prevent getting sick. Every child knows the Happy Birthday song, so teach them to sing "Happy Birthday" while they are washing their hands. This ensures they wash long enough to effectively remove germs and bacteria . Teach them to cough or sneeze into the crook of their arm instead of their hands. This will minimize the spread of airborn germs and lessen the chance of spreading the germs by contact. Teach them to always use tissues, not their shirts and to dispose of used tissues in a trash can. Teach them it is just plain gross to drink after someone else, even their BFF's! No one wants backwash in their mouth,right? That would be like letting their entire class spit in their mouth and then swallowing! Hand sanitizers are a good tool for kids to carry in their backpacks or purses. These can effectively decrease the spread of germs during an average day. Be sure the kids know they are only effective when hands are not visibly soiled. If you have gunk on your hands, wash them! So just to re-cap, in order to have a healthy school year sing happy birthday while washing your hands and do it often, especially after using the bathroom and before eating. Never drink after someone else and no sharing licks of ice cream or lollipops. Hand sanitizers are good except when your hands are really gross. Cough or sneeze into the bend of your arm and throw away used tissues.Then wash your hands again! Here's to a great start on a successful and healthy school year!

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