Why is School Such a Germ Fest?


If you have children or grandchildren, even nieces, nephews, or godchildren, you may have noticed that the first quarter (nine weeks) of school seems to be a giant germ-fest.  Just this school year, we have heard of multiple children who missed school days the very first week of school from getting sick!  Some are coming down with stomach bugs, while others have been suffering from fevers and sore throats.  They haven’t even gotten their first quarter report card yet!

It happens every fall, yet we feel helpless.  We send our children off to school hoping that they don’t get sick right away or carry home the germs to the rest of the family.  Oh yes, it’s not only the school-age children who suffer.  Younger siblings and parents get exposed to the germs through the kids carrying them home from school.  It can be downright miserable as the newest virus spreads through the household.

While there is no sure way to avoid germs (they ARE microscopic, after all), we can do our part to keep them at bay as much as possible.  Making sure your children get a good night of sleep is an essential part of their health.  A tired body cannot function optimally to properly and effectively fight off invading germs.

If you can send a water bottle to school with your child, please do it.  In so doing, they are able to avoid using the water fountains at school.  Water fountains are touched by hundreds of little germy hands, so they are not the picture of a germ-free drinking environment!  Remind your children not to drink out of anybody else’s water bottles.  That is a sure way to get germs and if the other child is sick, you can almost guarantee your little one is going to get it!

Multi-vitamins can be helpful too, especially those with a solid amount of immune-boosting vitamins.  You will want to look for things like Vitamin C, zinc, and magnesium.  There are gummy multi-vitamins available for children.  However, gummy multi-vitamins almost always contain LESS of the daily recommended amount of various vitamins than a chewable.  Additionally, dentists would definitely prefer that you buy the chewable vitamins.  Gummies of any sort, vitamin or otherwise, are not good for little teeth.  They get stuck down in their teeth and are definitely contributing to cavities in children.

As the adults, we encourage our kiddos to follow suit...getting enough sleep, drinking water during the day (not from a fountain or someone else’s bottle), and taking a multi-vitamin.  There is no specific recipe for avoiding all illnesses, but doing these few things will help you fight off more germs than you realize.

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