Our seven year old son has suffered his bumps, bruises, and trips to the hospital when he was younger and just as I sat down to write this post, my husband came inside to tell me that he fell out of a tree while playing outside. We’re fortunate that he’s fine and there’s no trip to the emergency room for stitches or staples and thankfully, no risk of a head injury. He’s sore and his head hurts but it’s nothing that a little ibuprofen and time on the couch with a favorite TV show won’t fix.
As parents, being prepared is just part of our job. We go with the flow and handle the bumps and bruises of life as they come along. It’s times like this that I’m glad I can quickly reach for the right medicine to ease my child’s pain to help them feel better fast.
With school starting along, after school activities resuming, cold and flu season on the way, it’s important to be proactive so your family can stay healthy. Here are six ways you can be proactive to hopefully fight off germs and have a healthy school year.
1. Wash hands immediately after coming home. It’s part of our coming home routine to drop our things at the back door and wash our hands immediately after taking off our shoes. It may sound a little obsessive compulsive, but I like to make sure our kids’ hands are clean and they aren’t bringing in germs. Plus we have a snack right after school and I hate the thought of them consuming icky germs that could potentially make them sick.
2. Keep your medicine cabinet stocked with medicines specifically for your child. Even though we’re diligent about handwashing, you never know when the virus that’s been making it’s way around the school can hit your child. We’ve all been woken up by a feverish child in the middle of the night who just wants to feel better. Avoiding late night trips to the drugstore by having medicine on hand makes parenting a bit less stressful during the most trying times. After all, it’s not safe to give adult medicine to children.
3. Place proper measuring devices near kids’ medicine. It’s not fun to wake up and try to find the plastic little dosage cup while groggy so I keep it with the bottle so it’s easy to find and I never have to guess the proper dosage. Even in my most tired state, I always read the back of the medicine to check the dosage for my child’s age and weight. Even if you’re tired, measuring medicine with a kitchen spoon is not safe.
4. Get rid of expired medicines. Back to school time is also a great time to check the labels in your medicine cabinet and safely purge any expired medicines. Put them in the trash can, tie it up, and take it outside to ensure that even if they’re being thrown away, they’re safely stored away from small hands.
5. Send extra donations of hand sanitizer, soap, and tissues to your child’s teacher. Teachers may only ask for one bottle of hand sanitizer, liquid soap, and a box of tissues at the beginning of the year but these supplies need to be replenished throughout to help everyone stay healthy. By periodically donating additional supplies, you’re promoting good hygiene even if the teacher doesn’t request additional donations. It never hurts to have too much hand sanitizer, soap, and tissues on hand in a classroom!
6. Tuck a bottle of hand sanitizer or an individually packaged antibacterial wipe in their lunchbox. At least you hope they’ll eat their lunch with clean hands and not transfer the germs to their mouth as they dine!
What extra steps do you take as part of your routine during a school year to help be proactive and hopefully fight off germs? For more general medicine safety tips, visit OTCSafety.org’s Giving Medicine to Children.
I received compensation for this post as part of the CHPA OTC Safety Ambassador Program. All the opinions reflected here are my own.