Back-to-School Germs: Hand Washing

Posted on by Paula Gallagher

hand-washingAs your children get ready to go back to school (if they aren't there already), it is important to remind them to wash their hands often. According to my doctor, this time of year keeps her especially busy. Colds, viruses and strep throat are common illnesses seen in those first few weeks of school. Kids spend the whole summer collecting germs, and once they start school, they are back in close quarters and those germs are easily spread. The best defense is good hand hygiene, including proper hand washing. Show your children how to wash their hands with soap and water, and for at least 20 seconds. If you have very little ones, tell them to sing the ABCs while they are washing. Here are four other tips to help strengthen your kids' immune system: 1. Get your kids to eat breakfast in the morning. Fuel them. Eating breakfast is the most important meal of the day and should include complex carbohydrates and protein to get them through the morning. 2. Sleep. Make sure your kids have enough sleep. Studies show that kids need at least 8 to 12 hours of sleep per night. Shut down things like computers, phones and television. 3. Keep active. At least 30 minutes every day of exercise is the recommendation for keeping heart-healthy! 4. Multivitamin, omega-3 and vitamin D3 all provide support for kids' growing bodies and brains. A multivitamin provides nutrients where a diet may be lacking. Omega-3 (especially DHA) has been shown to help with brain function. And vitamin D3 supports the immune system. Photo from here, with thanks.