Germ Prevention 101: A Prescription for Avoiding Back-to-School Illnesses

Summer is officially over, and kiddos everywhere are sharpening their pencils, zipping up their backpacks and getting ready for the start of another school year. But your children aren’t the only ones who have something to learn – Germ Prevention 101 is about to start, and you have a front-row seat. So, grab that notebook and get ready to learn UC4C’s top tips for keeping your little ones healthy this school year.

Hand Hygiene

From recess to lunchtime, there are endless opportunities for your little ones to be exposed to germs. One of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent illness is good hand-washing. Teaching proper hand-washing at home is a great first step to keeping your children healthy this back-to-school season. Here are our top tips:

  • Wash hands in warm water
  • Wash for at least 20 seconds (that’s two rounds of “Happy Birthday”)
  • Don’t forget the back of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails
  • Only use hand sanitizer when soap and water aren’t available.

Boost your Immune System

While sharing may be caring, there are certain things kids need to keep to themselves. Drinking from the same cup, sharing food or even using the same school supplies and books can spread germs. Since many of these are unavoidable, it’s important to build up your child’s immune system so they’re not susceptible to germs.

  • Have a balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables. Eat plenty of foods rich in antioxidants to boost immune defense and make probiotics a regular for gut health. Yogurt contains active cultures and Vitamin D that help support the immune system. Vegetables high in Vitamin C like spinach. Red bell peppers and broccoli are also high in beta-carotene.

Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours

Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours

Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours

Preschool (3-5 years): 10-13 hours

School-aged children (6-13 years) 9-11 hours

Teenagers (14-17 years): 8-10 hours

  • Exercise daily

Stay Up to Date on Vaccines

Although getting a shot can cause a little pain (and a lot of tears), keeping up with your child’s vaccinations is one of the best ways to protect against contagious diseases. Most vaccine recommendations are consistent, but some are updated as new immunizations are created. Your doctor is the perfect resource to talk through the right vaccinations and schedule for your child. The CDC also provides a helpful chart so you never miss a vaccine!

Don’t Catch Germs While Waiting

When cold and flu season hits, the doctor’s office is a playground for germs. Unfortunately, your child can catch something just by spending unnecessary time in the waiting room. That’s why Urgent Care for Children created Save Your Spot Online, a helpful tool to get you in and out of the clinic as quick as possible to avoid the germs!