- Find a Doctor
- Medical Services
- Patients & Visitors
- Classes & Events
- Health Library
- Why Choose Sharp?
What important information can you share about germs in schools?
We know that children, just like adults, harbor many germs and infections and these germs can spread quite easily in a school environment. If adults have a tough time washing their hands regularly, children have a much more difficult time. We have significant data that in classrooms where children washed their hands regularly or use a hand-based sanitizer, children miss less school because of illness and teachers get sick less often.
How can teachers help better hand-washing habits?
Now there are excellent campaigns in hand washing in schools that teachers can learn from and I simply would advise teachers to look up in any search engine “hand washing in schools” and they will get several sites some sponsored by state medical institutions that show how you can increase hand washing in schools.
How do you teach hand washing and other germ-fighting disciplines?
Teach children how to use tissues, but also to teach them how to cough into the corner of their elbow to keep their hands clean. Anytime somebody sneezes or coughs or blows their nose, right afterward they should wash their hands or use a gel-based hand sanitizer. We recommend washing with warm soap and water for at least 20 seconds. And that’s about the time it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice. If water and soap are not available, the gel-based hand sanitizers work quite well. You just spray one or two pumps of gel in your hands and rub your hands together for 10-15 seconds until the gel is dried and then you’re done.
How can parents help limit germ exposure at school?
If your child is sick, keep the child home during the first couple of days of illness. Definitely keep the child home if the child has a fever.
What are the most common germs found in schools?
Respiratory viruses or the common cold. Also, diarrhea infections. These are both caused by viruses. We do not have antibiotics to treat these, and the only way to limit exposure is to wash your hands often, use tissues when coughing or blowing your nose and limit exposure to other sick children.
What should parents do when children do get sick?
We’re all going to encounter germs. We’re all going to get sick from them from time to time. It’s part of the human experience. Usually infections don’t even cause symptoms because our immune system is quietly battling them and we never even know we’re sick. But sometimes the infection gets the best of us and treatment is needed. So that’s why it is an excellent idea to have an established relationship with a primary care doctor. If you haven’t established a relationship with a doctor, you will be able to get care usually faster, you’ll see someone who knows you and usually it will keep you out of an urgent care or an emergency room and help keep you healthy long-term.
Find a San Diego Pediatrician
To find a Sharp-affiliated doctor, search for a San Diego pediatrician or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm.