Friday, August 28, 2009

20 Tips for a Germ-Free School Year

NOTE FROM SUSAN: My kids have been back to school for a week and a half, and one of them has already come down with a cold. It’s no surprise as this happens often at the beginning of the school year when all the kids are once again in close quarters. National Geographic Kids has some advice for children on how to reduce the risk of contracting a cold or other bug. These tips are available on their website,, along with a lot of other fun activities, games, videos, information and more for kids! You can also order their children’s magazines, including National Geographic Kids and National Geographic Little Kids, which I’ll be reviewing on this blog in the next few weeks!

20 Tips for a Germ-Free School Year

The school year always brings new friends, new teachers, new assignments, and unfortunately some new germs. But not to worry, a new school year doesn’t have to mean new illnesses!

Follow these tips and you might score a perfect attendance record this year!

1. Wash your hands with soap and water after you sneeze, cough, or use the bathroom. Count to 20 or sing a couple of rounds of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” while you scrub!

2. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.

3. Use a tissue when you need to sneeze or cough. Throw your tissues in the trash—don’t attempt a Guinness World Record for the biggest pile of dirty tissues!

4. If you can’t stifle a cough or sneeze in a tissue quickly enough, sneeze into the crook of your elbow.

5. Take a multi-vitamin every day.

6. Don’t share water bottles or drinks. Your friend might not know he or she is sick and spread germs to you.

7. Don’t share your hair brush or hat. Little creatures like head lice could be hiding out and could be passed on from one person to another.

8. Stay home from school, sports practice, and parties if you feel sick or have a fever.

9. Wash your dishes with detergent and very warm water to kill germs.

10. Stay away from family gatherings and reunions if you are sick or if one of your family members is sick. Grandma and Grandpa and younger cousins may have a stronger reaction to the illness than you do.

11. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. A healthy diet can help boost your immune system and help you fight off illnesses before they make you sick!

12. Sleep eight or more hours every night. A strong body will help you fend off infections.

13. Wash your hands after you high five, fist bump or shake someone’s hand.

14. Don’t double dip into the salsa or dip.

15. Get some fresh air and exercise every day. Outside air often carries fewer germs than stagnant indoor air.

16. Avoid crowded places like movie theaters and shopping malls if the flu has been reported in your town.

17. Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. These areas are germ spreaders.

18. Don’t share ear buds with friends. They can harbor loads of germs.

19. Blow kisses to your sick friends and family instead of kisses and hugs.

20. Get a flu shot if your doctor or school recommends it.

You can find more great tips like this at


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