Monday, August 17, 2009

Back to School Colds

I had the flu back in March. The kids didn't get a single sniffle. We went swimming and to Great Wolf Lodge, an indoor waterpark. Not a single sore throat.

So why is it that after the first week of school I have not one, but TWO kiddos with cold symptoms?

Funny thing is, it isn't the one that I would have expected. Sir-Talks-A-Lot is my child that catches everything and seems to have the weakest immune system of the three, but Runnin' Man and Miss Missy are the two coming down with colds.

For Miss Missy, this is something that I was afraid of. This is her first time being in a childcare setting. She was never in daycare because mommy reluctantly opted to be a stay at home mom, at least until the kids were all in school so that we could bypass the whole paying for daycare thing.

Miss Missy doesn't get many colds. When she does, they are usually pretty bad, which is why I was reluctant to put her in a daycare facility, rather then a school for her Pre-K year. Unfortunately, we weren't chosen for the local school Pre-K program. So it was either keep Miss Missy home another year, so find a daycare with the Pre-K program. She's in a daycare.

She developed the sniffles after the first week. In a time where the world is fighting the swine flu, it makes me nervous when the kids are coughing and sneezing with watery eyes. Should I be concerned? In my opinion, daycares are germ infested. More so than the average school. In most centers, I see have children walking around sharing snot and boogers all day long. I'm not there all day, so I'm unsure if they are using proper handwashing or cleaning the toys regularly.

What's my best defense? I would be the one to walk right in that school with my hand dandy bottle of Lysol and have everyone sneezing from the fumes. But I found that my best defense against school colds starts at home. Teaching the kids how to fight off germs.

The most important defense is handwashing. My kids wash their hands after going to the bathroom, before eating and after sneezing or coughing into them. What I'll have to work on is reminding them to wash their hands after playing at friends' homes and after coming home from school. Can you imagine the germs they pick up from that big yellow bus? How many times have you gotten on a school bus and it smelled of bleach or Pinesol? Zero, maybe?

Runnin' Man is already a germ-a-phobe and probably washes his hands more often than I do. Not complaining.

Healthy foods such as fruit and vegetables are also a good way to help fight off colds. Last school year, I made sure that the boys had plenty of oranges in their lunchboxes as they are an excellent source of Vitamin C. I think I over did it on the oranges because eventually the slices started coming back home!

Sleeping is a problem in this house. I know that it is important for kids to get X amount of sleep a night. I have a bedtime set. 9pm. A little late for their age, but WORK WITH ME! I struggle to get them down before 10. Okay the first day of school, they were asleep by 9:01! They were just that ready! Now that the thrill and the new clothes are gone, getting them to bed isn't as easy.

Kids need an adequate amount sleep so that their bodies can fight off germs more efficiently. Having the right balance of rest and activity can belp kids stay healthy.

These are common sense ways of fighting off colds. So why is it so hard to take advantage of something so simple? I must say, I can't STAND to see my kids sick. It simply breaks my heart when they are feeling bad and I can't do a thing about it. I don't know about you, but I plan on doing a better job of keeping my kids healthy this school year. THE SWINE FLU is out there!


Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

I know too well what you're saying. I had a pre-k/daycare for 10 years and every week, someone had a runny nose or was coughing or barfing. Not only did I fight it with vitamins for the girls but I also washed the toys, and blankets and anything else that was touched by germy hands. On top of it, I got some stuff that is nasty but I swear by from the health food store. It's Grape Seed Extract (GSE) and Oil of Oreganol. Those two in a shot glass with some warm water and the germs vanish. It's nasty but worth feeling better. Hope the kids can stay healthy this year.

Mommy Cracked said...

I'm a huge germaphobe and so NOT looking forward to all those fun viruses and colds I know my little guy will be bringing home. Time to build up those immune systems!

Kristin said...

Hope they're feeling better soon! Our bedtime is 9 around here too, and it's hard to get them asleep that early. I don't know how people get their kids to go to bed at 8! LOL!