Children are exposed to a lot of germs. They’re around germs at school, at the playground and at places where they go to engage in after school activities. It’s easy for them to pick up germs when they go to the library and touch books that others have touched, too.

Kids can also pick up germs at the school gym, which is actually a hotbed for germs – and they can pick up germs on the school bus. The reason it’s so easy for children to pick up germs is that they’re constantly in an environment with other kids who don’t practice good hygiene, so it’s easier for germs to spread.

Children aren’t as careful as they need to be when it comes to washing their hands after using the bathroom or playing outside. Kids, both sick and healthy, will cough or sneeze into their hands and then touch shared items or other children.

Kids can also pick up germs from playing outside and digging in the dirt or picking up a frog or sticks or anything else that had contact with the ground. They can also get germs from playing with the dog or cat.

Hand cleanliness can be a first line of defense against germs and children should wash for a good 20-60 seconds and make sure they allow the soap to get beneath the nails. But despite how diligent you are about making sure your child practices good hygiene, there will always be the parent who sends their kid to school sick for whatever reason.

When a sick child comes into a classroom packed with healthy kids and touches a paper that’s passed back or touches the doorknob for the classroom or the doorknob for the bathroom, germs rest there until they’re transferred to the next child.

There is nothing you can do to prevent someone else from not practicing good hygiene or from sending their child to school when they shouldn’t. However, you can take steps to protect your child as much as you can.

You want to make sure that your child eats a healthy diet, gets plenty of fresh air, the right amount of rest – and that he also stays up to date on his immunizations. Having your child stay on schedule for immunizations gives him the antibodies to fight childhood diseases – and many diseases are preventable with immunizations.

Besides having your child immunized, you also want to make sure she gets a yearly flu shot. Having a flu shot can help keep your child from being sidelined with the flu, which can cause high fever that can lead to seizures.

Filed under: Parenting