Cold and Flu Season at School

Here’s a pop quiz for you. How many germs are on the student phone in the school office? Give up? The answer is… More than you ever want to think about!

Each year at school, cold and flu season gets a helping hand from the younger set. If you’ve ever taken a moment to observe, you know that kids are very hands-on.

And that means hands on everything from their own runny nose to their friend’s pencil. It has to be a very unmotivated germ that doesn’t flourish in this environment.

Several years ago, in my day-to-day role as Miss Cathie, I found myself interrupted by a little girl who wasn’t feeling well. She said her teacher sent her to the office to have her temperature checked.

Being the ever-observant school secretary, I was able to determine that she was sick without even getting the ear thermometer out of the drawer. 🙂

Little Molly had two rivulets of green running from her nostrils and her voice was raspy and nasally. I promptly dialed her home number and before long she was talking to her mom.

As I watched her, I suddenly noticed her little tongue dart out of her mouth and start licking the phone! All the while, her runny nose was merrily following its duly appointed course southward.

And then, sadly, Molly turned to me and said in her nasally voice, “My mom wanths tuh tawkh tuh yah.” She held the phone out to me and with sad puppy-dog eyes I prayed that my bullet-proof immune system (which I had honed over many years and through many germs) would not fail me!

You’ll be happy to know that this story has a happy ending. I spoke with Molly’s mom and she came to pick her up within 30 minutes. And my immune system? Yes! Bullet-proof and golden!

My point with this story is this. Kids don’t think about parameters when they have a runny nose, a cough or some other contagious, germy thing going on. They are, after all, just kids.

So what can you do to help your child stay healthy at school? Here’s a short list of ideas to make this cold and flu season a bit easier for your family. You’ll notice it’s mostly common sense stuff that you probably already know but it bears repeating.

 Miss Cathie’s Quick Tips for Surviving Cold and Flu Season

  •  Get plenty of rest.This doesn’t just mean getting your kids (and yourself) to bed on time. It’s important to simplify your day as much as possible. Having a slower paced day helps keep stress hormones at bay. Between getting enough rest and cutting unnecessary activities from your day, your family’s immune systems can remain strong and fearless.
  • Eat well-balanced meals. Well-balanced doesn’t have to mean labor intensive or expensive. You’ll find some great ideas on fixing meals that rock both your budget and your immune system on the Thriving Home blog site. Here are a few examples:

Pumpkin Whole Wheat French Toast

Baked Cheesy Spinach Tortellini

Baked Nachos

$3 Worth of Beans

Balsamic Sweet Potatoes

  • Give germs the brush off- or rather the wash off! Teach your kids the importance of washing their hands, or using hand sanitizers or wipes, regularly. It’s estimated that almost 51% of cold and flu germs can be killed by proper hand washing three times a day.  If visuals work better for you, here’s an informational video. Hand washing video
  • Keep your child properly hydrated. To help strengthen their immune system, kids need to drink between 5 and 8 cups of water a day.
  • Get your family immunized. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months get a flu shot unless there are special health concerns.

So that’s it- my bits of wisdom gleaned from first-hand experience in the trenches. Follow these tips and, hopefully, you and your family will survive cold and flu season in fine form.

Well, I think it’s time for me to go try that Balsamic Sweet Potato recipe from Thriving Home. Thanks for stopping by today and please check back soon to take another walk down my memory lane with me!


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