Avoid these back-to-school infections
As kids head back to school, it’s time to remind them, once again, to wash their hands — a lot, WITH SOAP!
Infections spread when kids (and the rest of us) don’t wash their hands, and then touch their eyes, noses and mouths. And when kids pick up germs at school, the rest of the family often gets sick, too.
Here are five infections for parents to be aware of as the new school year starts. The information was provided by KidsHealth.org.
1. Pinkeye, also known as conjunctivitis: Very contagious and best prevented by frequent hand-washing with warm soap and water, not touching eyes and avoiding sharing personal items.
2. Strep Throat: Spreads through close contact, unwashed hands and airborne droplets from sneezing and coughing. To prevent the spread, wash a sick child’s eating utensil’s in hot, soapy water and don’t let your child share food, drinks, napkins or towels. Teach kids to cough or sneeze into their sleeves, not their hands or the open air.
3. Head lice: Common among kids ages 3-12 and affect girls more frequently than boys. To prevent the spread of lice, don’t share helmets, brushes, combs and other personal items.
4. Molluscum Contagiosum: A skin rash that spreads easily among kids ages 1-12 through direct skin-to-skin contact. Kids can also get it by touching contaminated items, such as toys or towels. Help prevent the spread by good hand washing and avoid sharing personal items.
5. Walking pneumonia: The leading type of pneumonia in school-age children and young adults, it is spread through sneezing and coughing and can be treated with antibiotics. Good hand-washing can help avoid spreading this infection.
Some examples of when to wash hands (don't forget, scrub for 20 seconds!) from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
* Before, during, and after preparing food.
* Before eating food.
* After using the bathroom.
* After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the bathroom.
* Before and after caring for someone who is sick.
* After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
* After touching an animal or animal waste.
* After touching garbage.
* Before and after treating a cut or wound.