Win the School Year: Keeping the germs away!

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NORFOLK, Va. - It's back to school in Hampton Roads, and we're taking action to help keep the kids from getting sick when they go back to the classroom.

News 3 medical expert Dr. Ryan Light shared his advice on News 3 This Morning.

How do we avoid the dreaded back to school illnesses?

The most important thing for avoiding school illnesses is good hand hygiene. We encourage children to wash their hands before lunch, but often the exposure happens in the classrooms.  Children should avoid placing objects (i.e. pencils, pens, etc) in their hands in or their mouths.  Frequent hand washing through out the school day can help decrease colds, flu and gastrointestinal bugs.  It is also important to prevent spreading germs, so instruct them to cough and sneeze into their elbows.  If you have a sick child keep,  them at home.

Where are some of the germiest places in school?

High volume areas are typically the dirtiest places in the school.  Places like the water fountains, cafeterias, and bathrooms carry lots of germs.  These areas require special attention with good hand hygiene.

What are some things can you do prevent a cold, or the flu?

  1.  Wash your hands
  2. Get plenty of sleep
  3. Stay well-hydrated
  4. Get regular exercise
  5. Eating healthy
  6. Use common sense and avoid contact with sick people

What can we do to help control the spread of head lice in our schools?

Children should be taught to avoid activities that may spread head lice, such as:

  • Avoid head-to-head contact during play and other activities at home and school.
  • Do not share clothing such as hats, scarves, coats, sports uniforms, hair ribbons, or barrettes
  • Do not share combs, brushes, or towels
  • Wash hair regularly with shampoos containing tea tree oil, coconut oil, or lavender
  • Check your child’s hair frequently for signs of lice