The ‘Back-to-School Plague’

As the years go on, news spreads about all the different cases of flus, colds and other sicknesses that spread throughout schools across the country; Dallas is no different. These annual immune system failures have come to be known as the ‘back-to-school plague.’ With so much exposure to other children and adults all at once, many students and teachers are prone to getting sick from the immense amount of germs located in schools. With the first day of school coming up quickly, we have a few tips for you to help your family avoid the ‘back-to-school plague’ that so many families succumb to every year.

With such a large number of people bringing germs into one establishment, there are twice as many of hands. Be sure to inform any family members, whether they are teachers or students, to keep their hands clean, and to wash them after touching objects that are exposed to other hands throughout the day. This will dramatically reduce the spread of germs throughout classrooms and hallways, which will lead to less sick children and staff.

When young children sneeze or cough, many don’t have enough time to reach a tissue to do it into, which leads to them either sneezing or coughing into the open air, or into their hands. If they can’t reach a tissue, tell your children to try to cough into their shirt or elbow so that they don’t catch anyone in their line of fire. If they commit to their hands, they should immediately wash up in a sink nearby to avoid touching other objects or people to avoid spreading germs.

When asked, many people assume that the areas that most exposed to germs in a school are the bathrooms, when actually, they are the water fountains. Bathrooms are cleaned regularly due to the assumption that they are dirty due to the amount of activity within them. Water fountains are often looked over, therefore, not cleaned as often. They are touched by hundreds of hands every day and many times, with young children, mouths. Inform your kids to wash their hands after using the water fountain, or holding a paper towel between their hands and the lever to create a barrier. Also, tell young children not to put their mouths on the spout so that they do not directly ingest bad germs. The more informed children are about how certain objects are more prone to germs, the better chance they will have at avoiding getting sick.

We hope these tips are helpful for you to avoid the ‘back-to-school’ plague! Your family’s wellness is our number one priority here at the Family Health and Wellness Center of North Texas!