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Back to School and Back to Coughs and Colds

​​​This information is included in our Guide to Back to School. Click here to see the rest of the guide.

We all know that cold weather doesn't cause colds: Germs are the real cause of illness. Bacteria and viruses are no strangers to your child's preschool, daycare or kindergarten environment.

Every day our children are exposed to germs just as we are, but there are some common-sense practices we can use to decrease the spread of colds and other illnesses. The most important tools for developing healthy habits in young children are often the simplest ones.

Below is a list of behaviors that spread illness. Use problem-solving games; make a how-to book to help young children learn the alternative healthy habits written in bold below. Be creative!

Wash their little hands

  1. Children don't think washing with soap and warm water is necessary.
  2. They don't always clean between fingers and around wrists.
  3. Some kids don't rinse hands well.
  4. It's important to dry hands with a clean paper towel, but often our little ones use their clothes.
  5. Rough and tumble kids would rather do a handstand in the bathroom than turn off the faucet using the paper towel.
  6. Throwing the paper towel away for kids sometimes means searching the trash for hidden treasures.

Use the above bold phrases to help your child make his or her own " Use Clues" coloring book to find healthy habits to use at school. He or she can take it in for "show and tell!"

Feed a cold…and use a tissue:

  1. Keep a handkerchief or tissue in pocket, but don't forget to use it.
  2. Don't use hands or sleeves to wipe your nose. Of course, some children think shirttails are better.
  3. Children should discard used tissues in the trash instead of leaving them wherever it's convenient.

Here is a fun craft activity to play when your child is home ill. Take a discarded child's glove. Using craft material (felt, yarn, buttons, etc.) have your child help make little people (The McSneeze Family) out of the fingers. Sew a handkerchief to the palm of the glove. This makes blowing your nose a storytelling activity or just fun experience.

Teaching your kids healthy habits doesn't have to be a nag, drag or lecture. Instead, make it a fun experience so they will remember how to stay healthy at school.

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