(NAPSI)-Germs at school are nothing to sneeze at. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 22 million school days are lost each year due to the common cold and flu. That may be why parents worry as much about their children bringing home germs as they do bad grades.
According to a study conducted by Kelton Research for Seventh Generation, 82 percent of K-5 parents fret about germs in their children’s classrooms. Fortunately, that may not have to happen.
“Minimizing the number of disease-causing germs that your children are exposed to is easier than you might think,” says Dr. Alan Greene, best-selling author and pediatrician. “The key to success is knowing where the germs reside in the classroom and at home, and what to use to manage them.”
Dr. Greene recommends using disinfectants that kill germs naturally to clean high-traffic areas such as desks, doorknobs and remote controls.
Because the average child contracts 6.5 colds a year, Dr. Greene suggests taking the following precautions to keep your children away from germs:
Optimize the immune system
• Reap the benefits of probiotics such as those found in yogurt. A recent study showed that children who had enough probiotics daily throughout the cold and flu season had a significant reduction in the number of illnesses they contracted.
• Be sure your child is getting plenty of vitamin D from the sun, from food or from a supplement.
• Build a strong foundation. Good food, good sleep and good physical activity all help the immune system flourish.
Reduce unnecessary exposure to harmful germs
• Teach children the key times to clean their hands in the classroom, including after sneezing, coughing or using the restroom, upon leaving “high-risk” places (recess, naptime, play stations) and before eating.
• Stress the importance of not touching the eyes, nose or mouth.
• Demonstrate to your children how to cover their mouths and noses for every cough and sneeze.
• Sixty percent of teachers surveyed request that parents donate disinfecting wipes to the classroom. The ones from Seventh Generation, considered the world’s most trusted brand of authentic and environmentally responsible products for a healthy home, can kill 99.99 percent of germs naturally with the active ingredient thymol, derived from the herb thyme.