Keeping Children Healthy
Keeping Children Healthy
WHAT CAN WE DO AS PARENTS AND
TEACHERS TO HELP KEEP OUR KIDS
Seasonal colds and flu are a part of life
Can be very hard to control, because an individual
that has contracted the virus may be
asymptomatic for days, but still be contagious
Best way to protect yourself and others is through
Illness in Children
Most common – respiratory infections (cold, croup,
strep throat) and ear infections
Younger children are at greater risks because they
haven’t developed immunity to most infections
they are exposed to
Chain of transmission
1. Germs – such as virus or bacteria
2. Host – the person who is sick
3. Mode of transmission – anything germs can
contaminate (food, counter, desk, our hands) and
transmit to a new host
4. New host – the person at risk/susceptible to
How the Chain works
Germs are primarily transmitted by direct or
indirect contact, airborne, or droplet secretion
Germs can survive for hours or even days in the
environment, increasing risk of infection
Most contagious period is usually when a person
doesn’t feel ill
Key is prevention
Transmission can be stopped by breaking just one
link in the chain
Droplets are produced after coughing or sneezing
Can be breathed in by others, can land in their
nose, mouth, or eyes which can cause infection
Children must be taught to cover their nose and
mouth when coughing or sneezing and to wash
their hands regularly
Maintaining good health
Starts with good habits including: eating healthy
(plenty of fruits/veggies), getting enough rest (at
least 9-10 hours/night), & exercise
Good hand washing can help prevent the spread of
What can Parents/Teachers do?
Ensure all objects and surfaces that children come
in contact with are cleaned and sanitized
Practice good hand washing and teach the proper
techniques to your children
Teach your children to cover their nose and mouth
when they cough or sneeze
Get your children vaccinated and keep the
vaccines up to date
Good Hand Washing
What is the right way to wash your hands?
Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or
cold) and apply soap.
Rub your hands together to make a lather and scrub
them well; be sure to scrub the backs of your hands,
between your fingers, and under your nails.
Continue rubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds.
Need a timer? Hum the "Happy Birthday" song from
beginning to end twice.
Rinse your hands well under running water.
Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
When to stay home from school
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends
that parents ask these questions
1. Does your child have a fever? Fever is temp 101
2. Is your child well enough to engage in class? If
they are too run down to get much out of school
then don’t send them.
3. Do you think your child has a contagious illness
such as flu or pinkeye?
Stay Home If:
1. Fever– temp 101 or higher
2. Diarrhea – keep children home until stool is
formed or Dr. gives the okay to return
3. Severe Cough & Cold – serious cough could
indicate contagious illness such as whooping
cough, viral bronchitis, or croup
4. Vomiting – keep children home if they’ve
vomited twice in the last 24 hours
5. Diagnosed with strep throat – do not return to
school until 24 hours after first dose of
6. Pinkeye (Conjunctivitis) – is contagious, stay
home for first 24 hours after treatment begins
7. Rashes – recommended that children not come
to school until diagnosed
May come to school
1. Headaches that are not causing the child to feel
2. Earaches are not contagious and they may come
if they can concentrate and perform in school
3. Mild cold or respiratory symptoms as long as
nasal drainage is clear and cough is mild
While everyone should get a flu vaccine this
season, it’s especially important for some people to
Those people include the following:
People who are at high risk of developing serious
complications (like pneumonia) if they get sick
with the flu.
People who have certain medical conditions
including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung
People younger than 5 years (and especially those
younger than 2), and people 65 years and older.
People who live with or care for others who are at high
risk of developing serious complications
Household contacts and caregivers of people with certain
medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and
chronic lung disease.
Household contacts and caregivers of infants less than 6
Health care personnel.
More information is available at Who Should Get
Vaccinated Against Influenza.
Why are Childhood Vaccines So Important?
Newborn babies- immune to many diseases
because of antibodies they got from their mothers.
This immunity goes away during the first year of
Young children do not have this "maternal
immunity" against some diseases, such as
If an unvaccinated child is exposed to a disease
germ, the child's body may not be strong enough
to fight the disease.
Before vaccines, many children died from diseases
that vaccines now prevent, such as whooping
cough, measles, and polio.
Those same germs exist today, but because babies
are now protected by vaccines, we do not see these
diseases nearly as often.
Immunizing individual children helps protect the
health of our community
Especially those who cannot be immunized
Children who are too young to be vaccinated
Those who cannot be vaccinated for medical
reasons (for example, children with leukemia),
Those who cannot make an adequate response to
Are Vaccines Safe?
AAP Immunization Web site has been approved as a
credible site by the World Health Organization (WHO)
Vaccines can cause side effects, most common side
effects are mild
Vaccine-preventable disease symptoms can be serious,
or even deadly.
Many of these diseases are rare in this country, they
do circulate around the world and can be brought into
the U.S., putting unvaccinated children at risk.
The diseases that vaccines prevent can still be very
serious – and vaccination is the best way to prevent
Get your children vaccinated
Teach your children to eat a healthy diet
Ensure that your children get enough sleep
Teach them to cover their mouth and nose when
coughing or sneezing
Teach them good hand washing technique and
encourage them to wash their hands regularly