Childhood Germs: How to keep your child healthy from swine flu when school starts

Parents are very concerned about Fall – a time that signals the start of school or preschool and the continuance of daycare and childcare situations. With the worldwide scare of swine flu (H1N1) parents wonder what they can do to keep their vulnerable children safe. Here are some tips that they can use to control the risk of infection, but not resort to wrapping their children in bubble-wrap and locked in the house all year long!

1. Teach children the proper way to handwash. Soap and water is the best method and anti-bacterial gels will suffice when soap isn’t available. Wash as long as it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song.

2. When children come home from indoor playgrounds, birthday parties, and large public play spaces, have them wash their hands immediately, change their clothes and shower or bath before bedtime.

3. Consider dayhome situations rather then larger daycares. The smaller the group of children, the smaller the risks. Reconsider preschool.  Children benefit intellectually and socially from home learning as much as formal school situations in the preschool years.

4. Reconsider meeting other Moms and children in public meeting places. Instead, rejuvenate the coffee klatch in each other’s homes.

Remember that it’s impossible to avoid all risky situations, but keep a mindset of common sense and take reasonable precautions.

For more tips on going back to school or home education, visit

About Judy Arnall, BA, DTM, CCFE

BA, DTM, CCFE, Certified child development specialist and master of non-punitive parenting and education practices. Keynote speaker and best-selling author of "Discipline Without Distress", "Parenting With Patience", "Attachment Parenting Tips Raising Toddlers to Teens", and "Unschooling To University."
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