Make sure your child avoids the back to school germs

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Monday, September 12th, 2016
As the summer holidays come to an end and children settle in to the autumn term, the Public Health Agency (PHA) is reminding parents about the importance of good hygiene – both in school and at home. walktoschoolSchools can be a common breeding ground for germs and bugs. Make sure your child is taking the necessary precautions to reduce the risk of picking up or spreading germs to others as they start the new school term. Parents and schools can help reduce the spread of germs by encouraging children to practise good personal hygiene by: • Washing hands thoroughly with soap and warm water after using the toilet; • Washing hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before eating at break and lunch times; • Making sure your child carries tissues at all times; • Teaching children to cover their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing and to use a tissue which is disposed of quickly and carefully in a bin; • Teaching children it is good to share, but not to share drinks, food or lip balm; • Making sure your child receives the free flu vaccine if they are eligible; • Using an alcohol-based hand gel or wipe when hand washing is not possible, such as at school events or during field trips. Parents can also help reduce the spread of infection by thoroughly cleaning lunchboxes each day and supervising children as they regularly clean out their schoolbags. Use a wet cloth or wipe to remove dripped liquids and food crumbs from schoolbags. Parents are reminded that it is important to keep children at home from school if they are sick.
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September 2016Dr Lourda Geoghegan, Consultant in Health Protection at the PHA, said, “Bugs and germs are often found in school and these can be easily passed from child to child. “Effective hand washing is one of the most important tools in preventing many illnesses. Clean hands are vital in controlling the spread of infections, and other illnesses such as food poisoning and seasonal flu. “Hand washing with soap and warm water will reduce the risk of picking up and passing on these infections. It is important to note that alcohol-based hand gels are not a substitute for washing hands with soap and warm water. Dr Geoghegan added, “By following the simple steps above we can help to avoid illness and keep our children healthy and happy at school.” For further information on the seasonal flu vaccine see:
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