The uniform is washed and ironed, new pencil cases have been bought and schoolbags are packed, all ready for the start of the new school term.
Unfortunately for many children the excitement of returning to school to see their friends can be marred by a sudden onset of cold and flu. In fact, according to research by Kleenex, 84 per cent of families attribute their children’s colds to the school environment and while most adults suffer between two and four colds each year, children can have between three and eight.
Illness at school can often be attributed to two causes: the classroom and bad habits:
Every year, teachers and parents try to combat cold and flu to keep germs and contagious conditions out of the classrooms. However, despite their best efforts, children touch over 300 surfaces every 30 minutes so it is inevitable that germs will be passed around. With 80 per cent of infections spread by hand, it is therefore easy to see how being at school increases a child’s chances of picking up infection.
James Hallam Kleenex marketing says: “The start of the school term can be stressful for many reasons and if a child does pick something up at school, it is likely to spread around the family very quickly. It’s important to practise good hygiene habits to keep this risk to a minimum and avoid adding to this unnecessary stress.”
Kleenex top tips for a healthy start to the school term:
- If possible wipe down schoolbags and pencil cases on a daily basis with a disinfectant
- Pack your child’s schoolbag with a packet of pocket tissues and encourage them to use these when they sneeze instead of sneezing into their hands
- Ensure your child has a sufficient amount of sleep every night
- Make sure your child exercises regularly to boost the body's immunity, the natural defence mechanism against viruses
- Provide a balanced and nutritious diet: A well-nourished immune system is better able to fight off infections so try and include foods like fresh fruit and vegetables which are packed with vitamins and minerals
- Teach your child good hygiene habits: encourage them to wash their hands regularly, sneeze into a tissue rather than their hands and then dispose of this tissue in a bin