Prevent Flu at School


The flu virus mostly spreads from one person to the other through sneezes and coughs. In addition, the virus can also be spread through surface contact of areas that have the flu virus on them.

A typical school day will have more than 55 million students and 7 million staff attending around 130,000 schools across the country. This provides a perfect set up where the flu virus can spread easily. This is because:

  • The immune system of children is less resilient compared to that of adults making them more susceptible to the flu.
  • The students are always in close contact.
  • Young children tend to have typical “germ-friendly” habits such as sticking pencils and other objects in their mouth.

Schools and parents are advised to exercise good health habits that will reduce the transmission of flu at school. Some of the measures that should be taken are:

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Get immunized

Prevention has always been the best medicine and parents should ensure that their child gets immunized on the scheduled dates.


Clean you hands

Children are always fond of rubbing their eyes and noses which makes them even more susceptible to the cold. Most studies have shown that the number of children who wash their hands keenly are very few and those that use soap are even fewer. Teach your child how and when to wash their hands. An ideal time for a child to clean their hands is after using the bathroom, and before taking any meals.


Provide hand sanitizer

It is always a good policy to provide a hand sanitizer in the classroom. This will provide supervision for the young children and also make it easier for them to acquire the habit once they see the colleagues doing it.


Teach children about germ etiquette

It is always a good thing to teach a child to move away from a person who has a cold since we may not always be there to protect them. On the other hand, you child should know how to properly cover the coughs and sneezes so as to prevent the spread of the flu. Let them sneeze into a tissue then dispose it immediately, or cough in the crook of their elbow.


Provide a pencil box

One common way in which children spread the flu is through sharing pencils, erasers, crayons and rulers with classmates. By making your child self-sufficient, they will have less risk of picking up a cold from these shared objects.


Avoid sharing

A lot of students like sharing intimate objects such as lip stick, make-up, locker-room towels, helmets and jerseys. These not only provide a channel for transmission of the flu but also, transmission of other more severe infections such as herpes and MRSA. Since there are some things such as books which may have to be shared, encourage you child to wash their hands regularly.


Create awareness on germ hot-spots

There are those areas in school such as the drinking spigot which have an extremely high number of bacteria. Teach your children not to put their mouths on the spigot when they drink water, or better yet, have them carry their own water if the school permits.


Clean the backpacks

Backpacks are used to carry your child’s lunch box and other intimate supplies. It is therefore, important to wash it regularly to prevent it from being a germ carrier.


Build you child’s immunity

protect your child by ensuring their immunity is in top shape by making sure they get enough sleep, eat a balanced diet and exercise.

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