Staying healthy in school: Kid-friendly tips
Do you know why school kids get sick so often? The best ways to keep your child healthy in school? Get the answers to these school health questions and more.
By Mayo Clinic Staff
Does it seem as if your child is sick all the time? In the early school years, your child's immune system is put to the test. After all, young children in large groups tend to easily spread organisms that cause illness.
Here's why infectious illness is so common — and what your child can do to stay healthy in school.
How infections spread
Many childhood illnesses are caused by viruses. All it takes is a single child to bring a virus to school for the spread to begin. Consider this common scenario — a child who has a cold coughs or sneezes in the classroom. The children sitting nearby inhale the infected respiratory droplets and the cold spreads.
Or perhaps a child who has diarrhea uses the toilet and returns to the classroom without washing his or her hands. Illness-causing germs might spread from anything the sick child touches to other children who touch the same object and then put their fingers in their mouths.
Oct. 22, 2014
See more In-depth
- CDC says "Take 3" actions to fight the flu. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/preventing.htm. Accessed Sept. 10, 2014.
- Bright KR, et al. Occurrence of bacteria and viruses on elementary classroom surfaces and the potential role of classroom hygiene in the spread of infectious diseases. Journal of School Nursing. 2010;26:33.
- Nandrup-Bus I. Mandatory handwashing in elementary schools reduces absenteeism due to infectious illness among pupils: A pilot intervention study. American Journal of Infection Control. 2009;37:820.
- Wash your hands. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/Features/HandWashing. Accessed Sept. 10, 2014.
- Stopping germs at home, work and school. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/stopgerms.htm. Accessed Sept. 10, 2014.
- Cover your cough. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/covercough.htm. Accessed Sept. 10, 2014.