Though several different vaccinations are required for children to enter childcare or begin the academic year, the flu vaccine isn’t one of them. As flu season approaches, it’s essential that parents take appropriate measures to protect their kids from influenza, colds, allergies or any other illnesses they may come in contact with during the school year.
Here are some simple steps parents can take to keep their kids healthy:
Remember to Sanitize
At school, children often share toys and/or supplies with other (often sick) children, which makes them susceptible to catching colds and other viruses throughout the year. One way to combat this is by teaching children to cover their mouths after coughs and sneezes, and encouraging them to wash their hands frequently. At home or school, regularly wiping down commonly touched surfaces helps to kill bacteria and prevent cold-causing germs from spreading.
Don’t Forget to Hydrate
As children expend energy during playtime, it’s crucial that they drink appropriate amounts of water. Calling for water breaks during recess and reminding children to drink water throughout the day can help keep them cool on a hot afternoon, more focused in the classroom, and more. Since the benefits of drinking water extend well-beyond childhood, make it a family challenge to encourage all family members to stay hydrated.
Manage Any Allergies
At any age, those who suffer from allergies can become miserable around this time of year – (ragweed pollen starts gearing up late August) – and with playtime outside for recess and other extracurricular activities, children are especially vulnerable to them. If a child has allergies, it’s important for parents to get ahead of flare ups by sticking to a regimen of medication (discussed with the child’s pediatrician) and reducing the amount of allergens in the home by frequently washing sheets and stuffed animals, and vacuuming carpeted areas.