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Germs Join Students Back in School


As teachers know, back to school time also often means back to sniffles, colds and shared germs.

The beginning of the school year is a prime time for illnesses to spread. Children who have spent the summer outside in the fresh air are now contained in a small area where germs can easily be passed back and forth. Since the school year is new, parents are also less likely to keep kids home with minor illnesses like colds and stomachaches.

Some of the common back-to-school illness include colds, pink eye, gastroenteritis and strep throat. Fall is when we commonly see the flu virus begin to emerge, all the more reason to get your flu shot early.

The CDC offers the following advice for preventing the flu and other illnesses:

• Get vaccinated
• Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
• Stay home if you are sick
• Try to avoid close contact with others
• Disinfect shared surfaces
• Wash your hands often

Reinforce good hygiene habits in your classroom and post signs about hand washing in bathrooms and hallways. Not all germs can be avoided, but friendly reminders do help.

How do you prevent the spread of germs in your classroom?