How to stay healthy with back to school germs

Written by trishfms on . Posted in healthy eating, healthy living, home owner, Kids, New School, Parent

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It’s Back To School Time… which means GERM Season is back!

Yes, end of Summer is here, which means settling back into the comfortable routine of days marked by the ringing of school bells. It also means cold and flu season lurking just around the corner. Every parent dreads their child getting sick when school starts, even if it’s “just” a cold.

At best, you have a child not feeling well, not eating or sleeping well-a child missing school and parents missing work. At worst, a cold occasionally develops into something more, requiring a visit to the doctor and medical attention. What’s an overworked, sleep-deprived parent to do? Especially if they can’t afford to miss work? Well, here are some facts and practical tips to help keep your family healthy this cold and flu season.

Colds and flu are caused by viruses, not bacteria. Viruses are one type of germ that infects cells and makes us ill. Here are some common illnesses from viruses:

  • Head cold: Many colds are caused by rhinoviruses. Rhino means nose in Greek, so these are viruses that infect the nose. We get runny and stuffy noses when we have colds because that is where the virus is setting up shop.
  • Stomach flu: Rhinoviruses are actually one of a group of viruses called enteroviruses. Entero means intestine in Greek. These viruses infect our gastrointestinal tract, causing sore throat, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea-an illness some people call the stomach flu.
  • Influenza: A stomach “bug” is different from the actual flu, which is caused by the influenza virus. Influenza comes from the Italian word for influence of the stars. In medieval Europe, people thought outbreaks of colds and flu were caused by the movement of the stars.
Unlike bacterial infections, which can be treated with antibiotics, there are no medicines we can take to kill the viruses that cause colds and flu. We have to rely on our immune systems to do that job for us.

Avoiding Infection:

  • Hand Washing frequently with soap and water-and always before eating, after using the restroom and after being in a public place. Regular soap is fine; antibacterial soap isn’t necessary because colds are caused by viruses not bacteria.
  • Avoid sharing food, drinks, utensils, washcloths, toys, etc.
  • Cough or sneeze in a tissue or the crook of the elbow instead of the bare hand.
  • It is recommend if a child has a fever they can return to school 24 hours after fever has broken. Please do not send your child to school with a fever.
  • Give your child a box of tissue to keep in their desk/cubby as well as keep a box of tissue at your desk.
  • Use Hand Sanitizer
Cold and flu viruses are not airborne. You can’t catch a cold just by being in the same room as someone who’s sick.

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