Back to school time requires a lot of planning and school preparation. You have to enroll you child in the local school. You have to shop for school supplies and new school clothing. You have to arrange transportation to and from school. You have to create a new routine around a school schedule. In all of this planning and preparation, have you also created your back to school health plan? Children are exposed to more germs than ever in a school setting and it is important to have a health plan in place.
Teach your child about proper hand washing techniques
Washing your hands is the single best way to prevent the spread of germs and illness. It is important to teach children at a young age about proper hand washing techniques. If you get them in the habit of frequently washing their hands, they will continue to do so, even when at school. The more that they wash their hands, the fewer germs they will bring home. It is also likely that you will notice a reduction in a number of illnesses within the home. It can also be helpful to supply your child with hand sanitizer for those times when they do not have access to proper hand washing.
Educate your child about illness etiquette
Despite the best preparations, children can and still do get sick. Sometimes, these illnesses are minor and the child can still attend school. If your child has already received appropriate medical care and they are clear to return to school, it is still important that they follow proper illness etiquette. This means covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze. It also means washing your hands after you sneeze. Young children are usually not aware of these illness etiquette tips and you can help to prevent the spread of germs by educating them. It can also be helpful to provide your child?s classroom with tissue and Kleenex.
Vaccinate your child
Vaccinations can also be beneficial in preventing illness in children. It can even be administered at your local medical care center. Although the flu is common and many children will get it over the cold, winter months, it is best if prevented. It can cause dehydration and other severe side effects. If your child does come down with a severe case of the flu, it is best to receive advanced urgent care. Never assume that it is simply a part of the flu. Always have a medical consultation at your local medical care center.
Develop an illness care plan
With so many parents working in today?s times, it can be difficult to handle an ill child. Before you send your child back to school this fall, develop an illness care plan. Decide who will pick the child up from school if they become ill. Decide where the child will go and who will stay home with them. It is likely that there will be multiple sick days and it is helpful to have a plan in place ahead of time.
Know your medical care options
It can also be useful to have an after hours urgent care center in mind for after hours medical concerns. Your primary medical care center likely operates on normal business hours. This can be difficult to follow when both parents are working or the child is experiencing medical symptoms after business hours. Fortunately, according to a survey by the Urgent Care Association of America, 57% of patients wait 15 minutes or less to be seen, and about 80% of all visits are 60 minutes or less. You can be in and out in no time.
When children go back to school, they are exposed to a wide variety of germs. This often increases illness and children are faced with more sick days. Prevent illness with proper handwashing techniques, vaccinations, and hand sanitizer. When illness does occur, make sure you know where the local medical urgent care center is and who will handle that task. A physician or group of physicians own approximately 50% of urgent care centers, ensuring that your child is in good medical care.