1. Good hand hygiene
- To give kids an idea of how long it should take to thoroughly wash their hands, teach them to sing Happy Birthday or their ABCs twice while scrubbing. (Incidentally, the same singing idea applies for teeth brushing, although it's much harder to sing with a toothbrush in your mouth.)
- Visit the CDC's website for the recommended hand washing technique.
- Bottled hand sanitizers are intended for use when soap and water are inaccessible, not as a replacement. Although hand sanitizers are convenient, kids should still wash their hands with soap and water at the first opportunity for a more effective job.
2. Eat breakfast and nutritious meals.
3. Get sufficient sleep
To learn about the recommended sleep requirements for children, the CDC provides useful information. The website gives the average number of hours based on the child's age, plus tips on how to establish healthy sleep habits.
4. Keep sick children home especially if they have a fever.
5. Teach sneeze etiquette.
- Teach kids basic information about spreading germs, including proper sneezing etiquette (into the elbow to avoid hand contamination) and how to dispose of tissues and Band-Aids (followed, of course, by hand washing).
- The CDC provides a free downloadable graphic poster in English and Spanish that shows proper cough and sneeze etiquette.
6. Keep in contact.
- Students who have health issues such as asthma or diabetes need parents, teachers and the school nurse to work together to ensure their health and well-being.
7. Be active.