(WHTM) — Between COVID-19, colds, flu, and RSV, there are a lot of germs going around these days, and many parents are sure to be concerned. So what can they do to help keep their little ones safe while they’re at school?
“Handwashing is the simplest and still the best way to reduce the spread of many, many, many germs,” said Gina Robinson, MD, pediatrician for Cleveland Clinic Children’s. “You touch things throughout the day, you don’t even think about, opening doors, opening your desk at school, opening your locker, and every time you touch those surfaces you are coming into contact with some type of germs that someone left behind.”
Dr. Robinson said it’s important for parents to stress the importance of regularly washing their hands throughout the day. Their child could even carry around a little bottle of hand sanitizer. She also encourages kids to try to keep their hands off of their faces, which is an easy way to spread germs.
Another recommendation is to make sure your child’s immune system is strong to help fight off any potential germs. Ways to do that include getting enough sleep and eating a healthy diet.
And finally, parents should keep their kids home if they are sick. “If there is any way possible to keep your child with a fever home, because that is usually a sign that they are more contagious, that’s always a good idea,” said Dr. Robinson. “If your child has a bad cough, that’s a good reason to keep them home. If they have a slight cough and a slight runny nose, having them wear a mask is not a bad idea because then you’re helping to protect other people.”
Dr. Robinson said with flu season now in full swing, it’s important to make sure your child is vaccinated. The same goes for the COVID booster if they are eligible.