The new school term is well underway, and many parents may be frustrated to find that within a few weeks their child needs to take time off with a tummy bug. This is not surprising when you consider that hundreds of children are constantly touching different surfaces that can harbour germs and viruses within a confined space.
It is not possible to eliminate all risk of your child picking up a tummy bug or ‘vomiting virus’ at school, but there are some steps you can take to minimise the chances. Here are some tips.
Make sure they eat well
Eating a healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables can help to boost the immune system and give your child some resistance in those first few weeks of school. If they are reluctant to eat fruits and vegetables, try making smoothies and sneaking some greens such as lettuce and cucumber in their sandwiches.
Encourage good hygiene
Frequent handwashing with hot soapy water for at least 20 seconds should take place every time your child uses the bathroom or before they eat a meal. Make sure that they know the importance of continuing these habits at school.
Let them get fresh air
Try to ensure that your child has some time outdoors in fresh air every day. This is good for boosting the immune system and is also an opportunity for exercise.
If your child does get ill
Most of the time, your child will recover with a couple of days’ rest. Encourage them to stay hydrated with frequent sips of water. If they have lost a lot of fluids through sickness and diarrhoea, use a hydration tablet to help them more quickly recover. If the illness persists for seven days or more and they have a fever, then seek medical advice.