One thing you’ll notice when your child starts, or goes back to school, nursery or day care is that they seem to get poorly – all the time.
But don’t worry. Going back to school is an exciting time for your child as they learn new things and catch up with friends. Often, there’s no reason to panic apart from the fact that illness-causing germs and bacteria can spread very easily in an environment like this. The cleanliness and hygiene in schools may not always be up to standard, so your child is likely to catch a few bugs and infections as their immune system learns to fight back.
Vaccinations (or immunisations) prevent your child from catching some of the more serious infectious diseases. Once your child has been vaccinated for a specific disease their body will fight it more effectively if they get an infection. Speak to your doctor or paediatrician about all the recommended vaccinations for your child.
Washing your hands
It sounds obvious enough, but washing your hands with soap and water is one of the best ways to prevent germs and bacteria from spreading. Teach your child to wash their hands:
- Before eating
- After going to the toilet
- After playing with a pet or animal
- After coughing, sneezing or blowing their nose
- After touching something dirty (e.g. chewed pencils, used tissue etc.)
- Whenever they appear in need of a wash
When your child starts school, nursery or day care for the first time, take a look around together and show your child where they can wash their hands. Gently explain that your child must wash his hands often so that they do not fall ill and miss out on school.
Germs can spread through the air when we cough or sneeze. Encourage your child to use a tissue when they cough, sneeze or have a runny nose. Apart from using tissue, teach your child to dispose it off in the waste bin, and to wash their hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap after blowing their nose.
If they do not have a tissue, rather than coughing into their hands, encourage them to cough or sneeze into their elbow or upper arm to prevent the spread of bacteria.
Keep them away from school when necessary
If your child is too ill to take part in group activities or they have a specific infection that requires them to be excluded (e.g. Chickenpox, mumps, measles or flu), they should be kept away from school. This will stop germs and bacteria from being passed on to other children and give your child time to get well. Ask at your child’s school, nursery or day care center for their advice on exclusion times.
First aid at home
As your child grows and begins to explore the world, they’re sure to encounter the odd scratch or graze. Keep a first aid box at home for minor cuts and grazes, ideally containing:
- Plasters and sterile dressings
- Latex (or equivalent) gloves
- Dettol Antiseptic Liquid
- Safety pins and scissors
- Hypoallergenic tape and gauze
Treat any injury as soon as possible and clean the affected area carefully with Dettol Antiseptic Liquid. Always use the liquid as directed on the label.
If your child’s wound looks serious, don’t try and treat it yourself. Visit your doctor or local hospital and get advice from a medical professional.
Please consult your doctor for your baby care. Tips provided here are of general nature related to routine hygiene only.