One thing you’ll notice when your child starts, or goes back to school, nursery or day care is that they seem to get poorly – all the time.
But don’t worry. Going back to school is an exciting time for your child as they learn new things and catch up with friends. The downside is that illness-causing germs and bacteria can spread very easily in this kind of environment – so your child is likely to catch a few bugs and infections as their immune system learns to fight back.
Vaccinations (or immunisations) prevent your child from catching some of the most serious infectious diseases. Once your child has been vaccinated for a specific disease their body will fight it more effectively if they get an infection. Speak to your Health Care Professional to make sure your child has had all recommended vaccinations.
Washing your hands
It sounds obvious, but washing your hands with soap and water is one of the best ways to prevent germs and bacteria from spreading. Teach you child to wash their hands:
- Before eating
- After going to the toilet
- After playing with a pet or animal
- After coughing, sneezing or blowing their nose
- After touching something dirty (e.g. chewed pencils, used tissue etc.)
- Whenever they look dirty
- When your child starts school, nursery or day care for the first time, take a look around together and show your child where they can wash their hands.
Germs can be spread through the air when we cough or sneeze. Encourage your child to use a tissue when they cough, sneeze or have a runny nose, to put it in the bin, and to wash their hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap.
If they do not have a tissue, rather than coughing into their hands, encounrage them to cough or sneezing into their elbow or upper arm to prevent the spread of bacteria.
Keep them away from school when necessary
If your child is too poorly to take part in group activities or they have a specific infection that requires them to be excluded (e.g. Chickenpox), they should be kept away from school. it’s best to exclude them. This will stop germsbacteria from being passed on to other children and give your child time to get well.
Ask at your child’s school, nursery or day care centre for their advice on exclusion times.
First aid at home
As your child grows and begins to explore the world, they’re sure to encounter the odd scratch or graze. Keep a first aid box at home for minor cuts and grazes, ideally containing:
- Plasters and sterile dressings
- Latex (or equivalent) gloves
- Dettol antiseptic liquid
- Safety pins and scissors
- Hypoallergenic tape and gauze
Treat any injury as soon as possible.
Wash your hands with Dettol Antibacterial Hand Wash and clean the affected area carefully with diluted Dettol Antiseptic Liquid. Once dry, cover it with a sterile dressing or plaster and wash your hands again.
If your child’s wound looks serious, don’t try and treat it yourself. Contact a doctor immedialy or speak to a medical professional or visit your local accident and emergency department.