ImmunizationsVaccines are not just for small children. Even older children and teenagers need to get the recommended vaccines. Vaccines are not only a way to protect your children but also for the protection of other children. Immunization prevents many diseases including some that are known to cause death and disability. Vaccines are also used to protect schools and communities from experiencing outbreaks. Immunizations have very few side effects and are usually needed before a child can attend daycare or start schooling.
Basic hygiene at home, school, and daycareIt is not possible to protect your child from all contagious diseases. However, you can minimize the risk of them getting ill by teaching them basic hygienic practices. These include the following:
- The importance of washing their hands. Germs spread when people touch their nose, mouth, and eyes without washing their hands. They should be encouraged to wash their hands especially after visiting the toilet and before any meal. After washing hands, they should be completely dried. If you are not sure about the water in an area, you can use hand sanitizers as they also kill disease-causing germs.
- Also, it is important to keep your mouth covered when coughing or sneezing to avoid spreading germs to others.
- Children like sharing their things. However, teach your child not to share personal items with other children. Personal items include hats, combs, toothbrushes, silverware, food among others.
- Children should also use tissues or a handkerchief to cover the mouth when coughing and sneezing. They should be taught the correct way to use them so that the drainage does not go to the hands. When using tissues, ensure that they are thrown in a trash can after use.
- When drying the hands, they should use clean and dry paper towels that have not been used by other children as they can get germs from there.
- They should also not touch the body fluids of other children. They should tell an adult or the caregiver if a child is bleeding or has accidentally passed urine or stool.
- Also, ensure that all eating and drinking utensils are clean and children learn to wash fruits before they east them.
Basic hygiene in public places
- When in public places, the child should not be allowed to eat with their hands until they are thoroughly washed.
- Avoid letting your child be in contact with people with an obvious illness. Do not be afraid to force people to wash their hands if they want to interact with your child.
- If you are putting your child at a daycare center, ensure that good hygienic practices are followed. Especially in food preparation areas and bathrooms. Also, ensure that there are clean bathroom facilities and there are procedures followed when your child becomes ill.
- Also, follow instructions from a physician on the health of your child when they advise you to avoid public areas in specific situations. In case of an outbreak, avoid taking your small child or newborn to crowded areas since they can easily catch the infection.