Illness Prevention, Return to School After Illness, and Hand Washing!!
As a challenging cold and flu season approaches, I thought a reminder on illness prevention and hand washing would be helpful. According to the CDC and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the single most important measures in preventing the spread of illness, and in staying well, is hand washing! This simple measure is one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of bacteria and viruses that are known to cause a wide variety of bacterial and viral illness found commonly in the population.
Here at school, I have reminded teachers about hand washing through faculty meeting discussion and email reminders.
Within the first 2 weeks of school, I presented a lesson on hand washing and hygiene to every class and every grade level, and I also sent home 'hand washing homework' with students. I have given colorful posters to all teachers for the classrooms, to serve as 'colorful hand washing reminders' for students, staff, parents and visitors. The message for all is to use good hygiene practices to prevent the spread of illness, and these practices include; frequent hand washing, the correct use of Purell and hand wipes, covering coughs and sneezes by doing so into your elbow, or with prompt disposal of tissues, having the nurse evaluate and cover open wounds, prompt physician follow up when wound infection is suspected, and not sharing any personal items.
I hope you'll join with the school community to frequently remind your children of the importance of hand washing and hygiene practices at home. The more children hear the message on hand washing and good hygiene habits, the better. At school students are reminded to wash hands frequently during the school day, and Purell is available in the cafeteria. But perhaps you might also consider packing a disposable hand wipe with your child's lunch or classroom snack, so they may use it immediately before they eat .