Avoid Back to School Colds

Posted on August 8, 2016




A new school year is right around the corner and so are the back-to-school colds. Fear not, you can help you kids avoid many common illnesses by taking simple precautions.

Here are some tips for getting through cold and flu season unscathed, courtesy of the medical professionals at Peconic Bay Medical Center.

Get Enough Sleep

Without enough quality, restful sleep, your child's immune system won't function as well. In fact, research says even modest sleep deprivation will reduce the body's immune response by a third. Establish a regular bedtime routine and make sure your child gets enough sleep for his or her age.

Eat Right

You're not helping your immune system by eating lots of sugar. Sugar-laden foods can actually suppress your immune system. Eat foods rich in Vitamin C and other nutrients. Make sure you're eating a well-balanced diet filled with plenty of fruits and veggies. Probiotics found in many yogurts also help boost your body's resistance to bacterial and viral infections.

Wash Your Hands

Don't just remind your child to wash his or her hands; make sure he or she is doing it right. Use warm water, soap and wash for at least 20 seconds. (That's long enough to sing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" twice.) Be sure to rub in between the fingers, under the nails and on the backs of the hands, too.

Don't Share

You've spent years teaching your children to share, but sharing utensils or cups at school isn't a good idea. Doing so will spread illnesses quickly. Ask your kids not to share items at mealtime.

Use Tissues

Remind your kids to use tissues to catch coughs and sneezes. If there's not time to grab a tissue, encourage kids to cough into their bent inner elbow. Children should always wash their hands or use hand sanitizer after catching a sneeze or cough.

Additional tips

  • Avoid water fountains, if possible. They collect germs!
  • Wash backpacks regularly.
  • Exercise and drink plenty of water
  • Don't touch your face with your hands.
  • Encourage playtime to reduce school-related stress.

The best way to teach your children these behaviors is to model them yourself! Do all of the above -- and they will too! And if your child does get sick this school year, get him or her the care they need! With convenient urgent care hours every day of the week, your child will be back to class in no time.