5 Ways To Avoid Infection
1. Teach Your Children about Germs
- Teach about germs and how they are transfered by air, fluids, and blood.
- Use a textbook, an encyclopedia, or the Internet.
Set of 7 teaching pages.
Learning activities and lesson plans.
Lesson plans for grades Pre-K through 6.
For Older Students:Infectious Disease Workshop contains extensive information and learning activities.
2. Sharing Infectious Agents
Children are adept at picking up and spreading germs. Teach them how to avoid this at all times, but especially when someone in your home is ill or you are out in public where many unknown and very harmful diseases abound.
- Cover skin abrasions and cuts.
- Don't touch the face, especially eyes, nose, and mouth.
- When ill, it is courteous to avoid contact with others so that you don't spread your cold or flu, even if it means missing something you really want to do.
Also, when you are ill and your immune system is weakened, it is easier for you to pick up another, and perhaps worse, illness if you are exposed to crowds and others who are sick
3. Establish Hand Washing Rules and Habits
The simplest and most effective thing that you can do to keep from getting sick yourself, or spreading your sickness to others, is to wash your hands well and often.
How To Wash
- Wet hands with warm water and ordinary soap.
- When you don't have access to soap and water, use non-alcohol baby wipes. Use of antibacterial soap can promote growth of more virulent germs and viruses.
- Teach your children to scrub all parts of their hands for 20 seconds. (You could teach them a hand-washing song that lasts that long to sing.) Handwashing curriculum.
- Dry hands well. In a public restroom, turn off tap with a paper towel or back of wrist, and open door with a paper towel or a corner of clothing.
When To Wash
- Wash hands immediately upon returning home after being out in public or playing outside.
- Wash hands before preparing food, eating, or handling clean dishes.
- Wash after using the toilet, changing diapers, sneezing, coughing, blowing nose, and eating.Poster showing how to cough, sneeze, and wash hands.Hand washing poster #1, #2, and #3.
For Older Students:
Chemistry: How soap works
History: Why handwashing is important
4. General Hygiene
It is important to practice good hygiene principles and routines at all times, as you or others may be contagious a day before symptoms of illness are evident. Explain to your children that, although they may not see germs, they are present and can make them sick. Connect hygiene to illness by reminding them of the last time they were ill. The memory may be powerful enough to convince them of the importance of hygiene.
- Don't share drinking and eating utensils, food that has been handled or partially eaten by others, or toothbrushes.
- When someone in your family is sick, don't even share books, games, and toys.
- Brush teeth and tongue, and rinse your toothbrush in mouthwash or vinegar between brushings to kill bacteria.
- Close toilet lid before flushing so germs cannot spray toothbrushes or other surfaces.
- Put dirty clothing or linens into the laundry right away and wash them with regular detergent.
5. Clean Your Home
Clean your home regularly, and more when colds and flu are going around.
- Disinfect carefully with a solution of bleach and water or use baking soda to clean surfaces.
- Also reduce exposure to dust, smoke, and other chemical irritants (such as cleaning compounds) in your home.
- Open windows and bring fresh air into your home occasionally, even in winter.
by Cindy Short and Sue Welch
Copyright 2006 by www.TeachingHome.com. Reprinted by permission