Fall is one of the nicest times of the year. The air is cool and crisp, the leaves are turning bright, beautiful colors, and there’s even some holiday spirit in the air with Thanksgiving just around the corner.
The downside of fall is that it starts the long haul of flu season, which just happens to coincide with your kids heading back to school, a place that can be a marketplace for sharing germs.
Since putting them in a bubble won’t work, we can arm our children with some good hygiene habits and hope that they keep them in mind while at school. It certainly won’t “germ proof” them, but it’s probably more than a lot of the other kids their age are doing, and as long as your children are at least aware of these good habits, you’ve done your motherly duty.
It’s up to your kids to make good on putting them into practice, so to give them that opportunity, here are a few ways for your youngsters to practice good hygiene while at school.
1. Don’t share food — Some kids are great about sharing, and others can’t stand the thought of it. Regardless of which side of the fence your child is on, make sure they know that it’s not necessary or a “good thing” to share food at the school cafeteria. Whether they pack a lunch or buy the lunch that the school provides, swapping food and drinking after other kids is an open invitation to get sick. Free your child up to break the sharing rule during lunch period.
2. Have the hygiene talk — Of course you’ve told your kids to wash hands before meals, but it can be effective if you sit down and explain to them about how germs are shared and transferred in a school setting. You’ll want to be careful not to create little hypochondriacs, but it doesn’t hurt to tell them why washing your hands a little more frequently at school is safer.
3. Help them make it a habit at home — Washing hands before meals, covering your mouth when you sneeze, and using hand sanitizer should be instilled as home habits, which will then more likely be carried out at school. Again, don’t drive your kids crazy, just help them get into the habit of doing these things on a regular basis.
4. Drink plenty of water — Water solves a lot of problems, and too many kids avoid it in favor of flavored drinks and sodas. Get your kids into the habit of drinking plenty of water, especially through flu season. You can even provide them with a water bottle to take to school, so that they stay hydrated throughout the day.
5. Shower and wash hair — If they aren’t already, get your child into the habit of showering (or taking a bath) and washing their hair every night. Make sure they’re using a good quality shampoo, as that can help protect against lice, which is easy to pick up in school. It’ll also keep their overall hygiene at a much healthier level, and get them into the routine of bathing daily.
Routine and Good Habits
The hygiene battle is won and lost with the habits that you form. If you can help your kids to form good habits, they’ll be much more likely to do a better job of managing their own hygiene, both while they’re at home and while they’re in school.
– The Moms Buzz by guest blogger Marcela De Vivo
Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer and mother of three in Southern California. When back-to-school season starts, she knows that the germs are abound, so she does her best to teach her kids how to have good hygiene wherever they go. Follow her on Pinterest for more great tips.