Parents Room

Germs in School: Protect Your Children From Cold, Flu

How much school is missed as a result of colds and the flu each year?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 22 million school days are lost annually due to the common cold. In the 2003-2004 flu season, numerous outbreaks were reported among school children, some leading to school closures, according to the American Lung Association.

With all of the germs prevalent in heavily populated areas such as schools, it’s inevitable that your children will be exposed to colds and the flu. The following tips can help your children prevent catching a cold or the flu and help lessen the symptoms if they just can’t avoid catching a bug.

* Teach good hygiene. Encourage your children to wash their hands frequently with soap and warm water. The CDC suggests having your children sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice while washing their hands, which takes about 15 to 20 seconds, the recommended amount of time that they should wash them.

* Prevent a cold or the flu with a supplement. Knowing that school is a germ-infested area, some experts recommend that children take a supplement like Cold & Flu with Zinc, part of the “Spray” line of sublingual sprays, to help them prevent getting sick.

* Teach cold and flu etiquette. If your children are sick, make sure they know to cover their noses and mouths with a tissue when they cough or sneeze. After this, they should wash their hands so they don’t spread their germs.

If your children have a fever, it is recommended by the CDC that they not go to school until the fever has been gone for at least 24 hours.

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