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Now that September’s in full swing, our kids have returned to school and that regular weekday routine. While our children have shifted their focus from swimming and summer camp to math homework and reading assignments, it’s a good time for parents to think about avoiding sick days and colds.

Teach your children to regularly wash their hands with warm water and soap, scrubbing for 20 seconds, or, about how long it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” in your head.

While we may hate to admit it, kids heading back to school are return to an environment full of germs, sneezes, runny noses and more. Just being around a classroom full of children again can present an opportunity for Susie or Johnny to catch someone else’s cold, just from sheer proximity. Further, being back in a school building after a few months of summer vacation can trigger everything from an allergic reaction to a full-blown asthma attack.

As parents, how can you deal with these back-to-school challenges? United Concierge Medicine has a few tips:

  • Wash your hands. Make sure your children know that the best way to defeat colds is to stop the spread of the bacteria that causes them with regular and thorough hand-washing.
  • Improved sleep patterns. While Summer is full of late nights, campfires, and fun outdoors, a well-rested child is less prone to illnesses that can come from being run down. Work to establish a clear bedtime and stick to it so your child arrives at school rested, refreshed, and ready to learn.
  • Eat right. At UCM, we love hot dogs as much as anyone, but getting back into a routine of eating well-balanced meals with lots of fruits and vegetables will ensure your children have the right vitamins and mineral in their systems to fight any potential illnesses that come their way.
  • Prescription-ready. If your child suffers from allergies or asthma, make sure they have their meds and inhaler ready, should the need arise. Being exposed to dust and airborne particles they haven’t encountered in months can cause reactions – and it’s best to be prepared!

While nothing can totally protect against germs, bacteria, and allergens, we can take steps like those listed above to lessen the impact during this important and fun time of year when our children head back to school. Of course, if Susie or Johnny (or Mom or Dad) come down with something, you know the dedicated and professional Virtual ER staff at UCM stands ready to respond, treat, and triage. 

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