When children attend school, they move beyond the protected confines of their homes into a new environment. How do you protect them from the germs and illnesses they are exposed to?
By Ashwin Dewan
Whether your child is just starting school or resuming classes after vacations, she is being exposed to germs in many ways – while playing, sharing food with friends, mixing closely with other children, etc. Germs can spread very quickly from child to child when they cough, sneeze or eat contaminated food. In fact, schools can be a breeding ground of germs. And, if you do not teach your child proper hygiene, she will be susceptible to various illnesses like cough, cold, fever, head lice, etc.
Good hygiene is important not only for your child but for the entire family as well. The germs your child picks up at school can easily spread to the rest of the family.
You may ensure your child wears a clean uniform and carries all the school essentials but it is also vital that you teach her basic cleanliness. This article looks at various ways by which your child can be hygienic in school.
You can follow some simple steps that will help in two ways—one, these steps can promote good hygiene in children and two, they help prevent the spread of germs in school.
Hand washing is one of the most important and basic hygiene habits you should teach your child. It is also an effect way to prevent the spread of germs in school. Teach your child to wash her hands thoroughly before and after eating food; after using the toilet, coughing or sneezing, playing in the school ground etc.
Washing hands with soap and water should become a daily habit with your children.
Begin teaching your child rules of hygiene with the tips in this ClipBook.
It is a widely-known fact that finger nails are a breeding ground for bacteria. The germs that accumulate under your child’s nails can get easily transferred to her mouth, eyes and nose. This can lead to infection and illness in most cases. Ensure that your child’s fingernails are clipped and trimmed every week on a regular basis.
When your child coughs or sneezes without covering his nose and mouth, germs get airborne. This can be especially dangerous in a classroom where the children are seated at close proximity to each other. To prevent this, encourage your child to use a handkerchief. Tissues work just as well. Make sure your child throws used tissues in a bin and washes her hands with soap and water afterwards.
Many schools have play areas where the children can bring their favourite stuffed toys to play with. During such classes, children pass their toys around to share with other children. Not only is the toy passed around but germs may also be transmitted through them. So, make sure you wash your child’s toys regularly.
One aspect that parents often overlook in their school-going children is foot hygiene. Sometimes, sweaty feet, also known as athlete’s feet, can lead to fungal infections. Make your child wear cotton-lined socks instead of those made of synthetic fibre so that her feet can breathe.
Food is another important aspect where hygiene is of utmost importance. While packing food for your child, ensure you wash the tiffin box properly. Always pack food that has been freshly prepared along with a bottle of clean water.
Apart from these hygiene factors, as parents, it is your responsibility to:
Good personal hygiene will help your child ward off diseases. Check out this article for some practical tips.
If your child gets sick, ensure that you visit the doctor if she is not getting better in a couple of days. Do not send your child to school until she has fully recovered. Remember,
staying clean and following proper hygiene is the beginning to a healthy life for your child.
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