Unlike the immune system of an adult, a child’s immune system is not as matured, therefore they are much more susceptible to germs. Thus, in order to prevent illness, it is crucial that parents teach their children the importance of good hygiene etiquette in order to stay healthy throughout the year.
Germs are typically spread via surfaces such as desks or keyboards, doorknobs, water fountains, toys and pens/pencils. Hand hygiene is the single most effective way to prevent germs from spreading; an essential way of doing so is by washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds in addition to using hand sanitizer that contains 60 to 70 percent alcohol. Covering the mouth when coughing or sneezing and using tissue is also paramount. A child’s vaccinations should also be kept up-to-date. While an outbreak of measles, chicken pox or whooping cough is unlikely, studies have shown that such outbreaks do tend to occur in Canadian provinces, with some schools even requiring children to be vaccinated before they can attend classes.
Another great way to keep your child healthy and boost their immune system during the school season is by ensuring they are packed a well-balanced diet containing fruits and vegetables (the Canadian Food Guide recommends 4 to 6 servings for young children), and making sure they get a good night’s sleep. It is also recommended that school-aged children get at least 8 hours of sleep each evening. By getting an appropriate amount of sleep they will be feeling well rested and better able to concentrate in class and become less vulnerable to bacteria-causing germs.