KELLOGG — A brand new school year is well underway and once again parents are hopefully staying aware of their kids’ health during the impending cold and flu season.
Kellogg School District nurse Nicole Lewis has some very basic tips for how you can keep your children and other children as germ free as possible.
“The most important method to assist in staying healthy through cold and flu season is washing hands with soap and water,” Lewis said. “If soap and water are not available, then use hand sanitizer. Encourage children to cover their sneezes and to cough with either their elbow or a Kleenex, as well as keeping their fingers out of their eyes, nose and mouth.”
Germs spread in a myriad of ways, especially inside a school building.
And for elementary-aged students, germs spread through normal behaviors like sharing equipment, moving through different classrooms and basic interaction with one another.
One of the most important pieces of information a parent can have is knowing when they need to keep their child home once they’re sick.
If a child has an active fever then they are still actively sick, but not all people tend to run at the same temperature making it difficult to gauge.
Fortunately, there is a universal threshold where parents should keep their child home.
“If a child has a fever of over 100.5 degrees, please keep your child home,” Lewis said. “If your child has been actively vomiting or diarrhea, please keep him or her home.”
With school districts taking an active stance at combating the spread of germs, the schools have set up various amenities that allow the students to remain as germ free as possible.
Hand sanitizer is available in every school, as are sinks, soap and water are available in most elementary classrooms.
“Teachers and staff are constantly reminding students to wash their hands, using hand sanitizer, covering their cough and sneeze, and keeping their fingers out of their eyes, nose and mouth,” Lewis said.
At the beginning of the year, students are asked to bring a box of tissue as part of their supply list so that it is readily available for students to use.
Keeping kids germ-free is no easy task, but local schools are taking every step they can to maintain a healthy learning environment.