Browsing through Facebook during August and September, your social media feed is probably filled with fellow parents who are relieved that summer break has come to an end.
However, two to three weeks later, there are nothing but posts sharing updates on sick families. This happens because once all of the children are back in the classroom together, the sharing of germs commences.
It can seem like this period of illness is inevitable. However, there are steps you and your children can take to prevent getting sick. And as always, AFC Urgent Care Castle Rock has flu shots available for patients of all ages!
Teach hand washing
If your children are older, they may be beyond the “teachable” stage. But with younger kids, you can stress the importance of hand-washing. One great tip is to teach them to sing a short song while they wash their hands, to be sure they aren’t washing them too quickly. Remind them to always use soap and water. You can also give your child a small container of antibacterial hand sanitizer to use.
Stress the “vampire sneeze” technique
Many children (and adults) sneeze or cough into their hands. It is actually more hygienic to sneeze into the crook of one’s arm. A fun way to introduce this technique and help it stick in your child’s mind is to name it the “vampire sneeze.” Your child will raise his or her arm and sneeze, rather than into their hand.
You could also remind them that if they do sneeze into their hand accidentally, they should avoid touching anything and wash their hands immediately.
Get flu vaccines for the family
Some argue that flu vaccines aren’t worth getting because even those who are vaccinated could end up getting the flu. While the flu vaccine does not guard against all strains of the flu, it does protect against some of the more deadly strains as well as those most likely to be passed around that season.
Many doctor’s offices now have “shot blockers” that help reduce the pain from vaccines, if your child is hesitant to receive his or her shot.
Get familiar with germs
Explain to your children how sickness occurs. Explain contamination and how they can avoid getting sick, even if their friends are. There are many children’s books available that discuss germs in an age-appropriate way.
Following these tips and helping your child stay hygienic will help keep sickness away. In the event that your child does get the flu, or another illness, visit an urgent care nearby for prompt and affordable treatment.