Sending your child to school, especially during the first few years, usually means that every cold and flu season brings the risk of them catching one germ or the other while in class. Even though young children sometimes have a difficult time understanding just how and why they can get sick, it does not mean that you have to just prepare yourself for the next round of coughs, runny nose, and sore throat without teaching them how to avoid the situation. There are a few simple rules even preschoolers can learn and a few things you can do as a parent that can help them avoid sickness during school hours.
Provide your child with hand sanitizer and teach them how to use it.
Most young children will only wash their hands when they are instructed and may not even wash their hands properly when they are told. This makes the risk of coming in contact with germs on hand contact surfaces a really big deal. provide your child with a small bottle of hand sanitizer that they can use to keep their own hands clean throughout the day. Teach them to use only a small amount and let the teacher know that you have provided hand sanitizer for your child to use as needed.
Teach your child to not interact with children who are sick.
Holding hands, playing games, sharing foods–all of these are examples of when germs can easily be passed from one child to another of one of them is sick. Most children have no idea that they can catch germs when another child is sick until a parent or an adult teaches them that this is the case. Make sure you remind your child through cold and flu season to keep their distance as much as they can from other kids at school who have runny noses, are coughing, or are otherwise showing signs of illness.
Provide your child with their own utensils to use at school.
It is not at all uncommon for preschools to have one large bunch of things like pencils and crayons for the whole class to share. Unfortunately, this means that germs between dirty hands are easily passed around. To ward off exposure to germs in this manner, supply your child with their own utensils to use at school. Let the teacher know that you are sending your own supplies to prevent sharing germs in the classroom.
For assistance, talk to a professional like Small World Early Learning & Development Center.