Temperatures are steadily dropping, which can only mean cold and flu season is right around the corner. No one likes getting the sniffles, and everyone hates getting the flu. We’ve pulled together the best tips for keeping your class healthy through the upcoming winter!
1. Have your students wash their hands with soap and water. Warm water is best with foaming or liquid soap. Find a fun scent or cheerful dispenser for your classroom, and squirt enough for each student as they line up to wash up before meals or as they’re coming back from recess!
2. Use proper hand-washing techniques. Hand-washing should be done often: before and after eating, after using the restroom, after sneezing or rubbing a running nose, and after playing outside. Teach students to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice through as they scrub their hands. It takes about 20 seconds to thoroughly kill germs. They’ll have clean hands and have fun singing while they wash up!
3. Use hand sanitizer when soap and water are unavailable. Read labels to find ones with above 60 percent alcohol content, but don’t look for “Antibacterial” or “Antimicrobial” since those will kill even the good germs. Have your students use hand sanitizer any time they aren’t able to wash their hands. A quick squirt after a sneeze is the perfect example!
4. Cough and sneeze into a sleeve. Elbows and upper arms are better at blocking germs from spreading than when you cover a sneeze with a hand. Learning this trick at a young age will make it second nature and keep down the number of germy hands in the future!
5. Use tissues only once before tossing. Using a tissue once, then it throwing away and washing your hands after is the most effective way to stop the spread of germs. Always make sure students throw their tissues away as soon as they use them, that’ll help stop germs and keep the tissues from being left on desks.
6. Suggest students not share drinks, chap stick, etc. with friends. Explain to your students why it’s important not to share things like water bottles or utensils with others since they have germs all over them, and they’re an easy way to pass on sickness.
7. Make sure everyone eats a healthy diet. A healthy well-balanced diet makes for a healthy immune system. Encourage parents to prepare lunches rich in vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, and iron, or if students are assigned snack days, request that parents look for healthy options that will boost immune systems.
8. Disinfect high traffic areas. Use a diluted bleach solution or products with antiviral agents to wipe down tables, writing utensils, white boards, door knobs, books, and other commonly touched surfaces. This is probably easiest to do at the end of every day and when you have a break during lunch or recess!
9. Ask for help in keeping your classroom healthy. It might help to send a note home to parents asking for donations of tissues, hand sanitizing wipes, and other tools to keep the classroom environment as healthy as possible.
10. Put an air purifier in your classroom. Good air purifiers will improve indoor air quality by removing allergens and harmful particles. You can keep your classroom’s air cleaner with little hassle.
Even following these tips, it’s inevitable that you’ll still wind up with sick students. Don’t let them get behind! Stride Academy is here to keep your student’s learning even when they can’t be present in school!