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How can I keep my daughter healthy at school?

July 25, 2014

By YOU Program Facilitator

How can I keep my daughter healthy at school? | A parent measures cough syrup for a young child, who lays in bed.

Question: My daughter will be starting preschool in the fall as I go back to work. I’m really worried that she’s going to get sick from all the germs that other kids carry around. How can I keep her healthy?

Answer: You have a right to worry about your daughter getting sick from other kids. Some contagious illnesses and conditions are more common in larger groups than in small groups. But with a few precautionary measures, you can help prevent some of the more serious conditions.

First, make sure you vaccinate your child in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) schedule. Children under six years old are the most vulnerable for potentially life-threatening diseases, but by ensuring your daughter has the recommended vaccines for her age, you can help prevent her from catching those diseases and spreading them to others.

Less serious conditions are more difficult to avoid. For example, lice or the common cold may spread throughout the preschool. For these situations, your best defense is a good offense.

  • Wash your and your daughter’s hands frequently, especially after touching doorknobs or light switches.
  • Teach your child not to put her hands in her mouth, nose, or eyes, especially while at preschool. This practice can prevent common viruses from getting into her body.
  • Give her tissues when she coughs or sneezes to avoid spreading germs.
  • Make sure the preschool has separate bedding for nap times to avoid contracting or spreading lice.
  • If your daughter isn’t feeling well, keep her home from school until she feels better and ask her doctor for advice on proper treatment.

As your daughter grows up and goes to school with more kids, she will be exposed to more germs and viruses. While it’s okay to be concerned, take the above actions to prevent contracting and spreading illnesses. Remember, she is building her immune system, which is important for her overall health.

For more information on preventing illnesses and keeping your child healthy, see the YOU: Your Child’s First Teacher 3-book set.


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