1) Don’t let the children share pencils. So many times you see it, the pencil goes in Suzy’s mouth and Bobby wants to use it. Bobby sticks it in his nose and gives it back to Suzy, who unwittingly puts it back in her mouth.
2) Teach the children to carry a tissue for those inopportune coughs and sneezes. If they have a cold already let them have the whole box and a bag for the contaminated tissues and don’t let them pass the papers.
3) If a child has an uncontrollable cough or runny nose, send him/her home or away from the other students. So many times when a student is sent to school sick, the whole class has an avalanche of symptoms deriving from that first student.
4) Antibacterial hand cleaner is a good thing in moderation. Before meals, after the bathroom, after sneezing or coughing are good times for hand cleaner.
5) Realize that children are susceptible to more than just germs. If a child is scratching his/her head, he/she may need to see the nurse.
6) If you notice a child misbehaving or not paying attention, bring him/her near to you. He/she may have a hearing or vision problem. Inform the parents and if the problem persists take the necessary action.
7) Have Fun. Everyone knows that laughter is the next best thing to chicken soup.
8) Pay attention and control it. The one worse thing than having one child with the flu is twenty children with the flu.
9) What if a child admits he/she is sick? Many times the child who is sick will not tell you and the child who isn’t will. Learn to know the difference.
I was filling my granddaughters’ school supply list this year and found that the antibacterial soap, hand sanitizer, and wipes were overpowering the actual school supplies. I realize the need for these items, with the swine flu scare and other health issues today. Somehow, I just can’t help but wonder if the overbearing cleaning craze might cause a generation of obsessive little people. If we just work together as parents and teachers we can keep the germs from spreading and encourage our back to school youngsters to learn math, reading and social studies. The well being of our students is essential to the quality of their future.