All Points Medical Waste Blog

Back-To-School Equals Back-To-Germs

Preventing illness

It happens every year. The summer flies by without a hitch, kids play outside, enjoy camps, beach days and long lazy afternoons by the pool, without so much as a sneeze. But then, within just a few days of school starting up, they get off the school bus with a fever, stuffy nose, cough or other symptoms. Often, the illness then spreads to other members of the family. The fact is, in the United States, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) reports that millions of school-aged children come down with an illness during the first two weeks of school. Why are they getting sick and what can you do to protect your children? Read on to learn more.

Schools are a haven for germs

Preschool, elementary and up through high school are a haven for germs, many of them your child hasn’t been exposed to for months or ever. Preschools and elementary schools are the biggest culprits, simply because the kids are younger and less likely to remember to take certain steps to prevent the spread of germs, and the younger the children, the less robust their immune system. When the kids return to school, they’re walking down hallways they haven’t been inside since the previous school year, and they’re being exposed to new desks, books, pencils, classroom items like puzzles and games, door handles, lunchrooms, drinking fountains, bathrooms, buses, other students, the list goes on.

Steps to take to prevent illness

One thing to remember is that a simple sneeze or cough from another child is enough to spread the germs necessary to infect classmates. Droplets that are practically invisible contain bacteria and land on surfaces, then students touch those surfaces and proceed to touch their faces, mouths, noses, etc. Although illness is sometimes inevitable, there are steps you can take to protect your children from getting sick when they head back to school, take a look:

  • Make sure they are up to date on all their vaccinations
  • Encourage hand washing throughout the day, after using the bathroom, before lunch or snack and the moment they return home from school
  • Remind your child to refrain from putting their hands in their mouth, touching their eyes and noses
  • Arm them with hand sanitizer to use before lunch and during the day
  • Make sure they get plenty of rest, school-age children should get 10-11 hours a night
  • Provide them with a water bottle to take to school and encourage them not to use water fountains
  • Remind them never to share their food or drink with others
  • Provide them with healthy meals and snacks
  • Encourage exercise, at least 20-30 minutes a day
  • Teach them the proper way to sneeze and cough into their elbows

Although there is no foolproof way to avoid illness all of the time, taking these steps could reduce the amount of sick time your child has to spend out of school. It’s also important to keep your child home when they are sick—a lot of school-borne illnesses could be avoided if everyone took this step. Experts say that if your child has a cold, a fever above 100.4, a productive cough, a non-allergic rash, vomiting or diarrhea, they should not go to school.

For more helpful information, related to health and medical waste, please visit our blog often. All Points Medical Waste is a family-owned and operated company in Stuart, Florida. We provide a full array of medical waste disposal services as well as shredding and destruction services. Give us a call at 772.600.4885 or contact us via our online form to find out more about what we do.

Dawn Connelly

Dawn is the vice president of All Points Medical Waste. All Points Medical Waste is a family-owned and operated medical waste disposal and compliance company that has been serving the Treasure Coast, Palm Beaches, and surrounding areas since 1994.
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