A month or two after going back to school is a prime time for the sickies to hit home. Kids are around hundreds of people and the weather is changing. Ear aches, strep throat, colds, the flu, sinus infections, and even lice are just some of the things our kids can bring home. Studies show that American businesses lose 2.8 million work days per year from unplanned absences with the average sick day costing companies approximately $200 per employee in lost productivity. When kids are sick, they lose valuable time in the classroom, and typically parents have to stay home from work to take care of them.
You can’t always stop avoid viruses from coming into your home, but you can do some things to help keep you and your children healthy this back-to-school season and into the Fall and Winter months. Here are some tips to help keep your family healthy.
- Wash Your Hands. This is always underestimated! Make sure to use soap and warm water. Remember to scrub all over your hands and wrist. Don’t substitute hand sanitizer when you can use soap and water. Visit the Scrub Club for fun ways to teach your kids about proper hand washing and germs.
- Don’t Touch Your Face. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs on your hands can infect you through these places. Teach your children this important habit as well.
- Cover Your Mouth. Teach your kids to cover their mouth when they cough and sneeze. If they don’t have a kleenex handy, sneezing into the crook of their elbow and away from others is a good way to go. It keeps the germs off their hands. A sneeze can spray thousands of infectious particles into the air at 200 miles per hour, and they can travel 3 feet!
- Clean Well. This is where cleanliness comes into play. Make sure to wipe down the most used spaces and places in your home. Make sure to disinfect backpacks, door knobs, bathrooms, light switches, the kitchen and other heavily used areas. I keep Clorox wipes handy in my car, kitchen and bathroom. They are easy to use and convenient.
- Hydrate. Drink lots of water. Staying hydrated can help flush out your body.
- Eat healthy. Eating vegetables, fruits and other healthy foods can build up your immune system and help fight off sicknesses.
- Get plenty of sleep. A well-rested body can fight off sickness better than a tired one. Try to maintain a healthy sleep schedule, even on weekends.
- Take your vitamins. Some doctors suggest taking more vitamin C to help increase the immune system. Other immune boosting supplements are Echinacea, Goldenseal, Schisandra, L-Lysine, and Astragalus.
- Stay home. Don’t send your kid to school sick! If your child has a temperature higher than 100 degrees, body aches, and extreme sleepiness or is coughing or vomiting, you need to keep him home until he is free of those symptoms for 24 hours.
- Use a humidifier. This is especially important in our dry climate. It makes breathing easier because it keeps your lungs and airways moist and keep your lungs more elastic.