With the drop in temperature at this time of the year comes the dreaded increase in sneezes, coughs and stuffy noses in your classroom. Follow our top tips to help stop the spread of germs this cold and flu season, and keep health and productivity ticking along optimally over the cold winter months.
Teach Good Hygiene!
Colds are a virus and passed through germs on hands, so good frequent hand washing is the key to stopping the spread of germs in your classroom, especially before eating food. Add hand-washing breaks to your class schedule if you haven’t already. Also, encourage students to keep a tissue up their sleeve or in their pocket so they can cover their sneeze or cough.
Keep up the outdoor physical activity
Exercise strengthens the immune system, and fit kids will fight off coughs and colds faster. While it’s tempting to ease off on physical activity when it’s cold and windy outside, make outdoor exercise a priority. Getting a daily dose of fresh air is especially important when they’re cooped up inside so much in winter with germs circulating in the air.
A Lesson from Mother Nature
Nature takes care of us in Australia, with the vitamin packed citrus fruits arriving just in time for the onset of cold and flu season. Talk to your students about seasonal fruit and how the vitamins and nutrients they contain help boost their immunity against winter bugs. It’s really quite amazing when you think about it, your students will think so too.
Remind parents about the school policy regarding sick kids, so they know when they’re expected to keep their child home. Also, encourage parents to pack lots of layers so children can keep warm through the day. Communicate these messages via the School Stream App and they’ll get the reminders in real time straight to their phones.
Make disinfectant spray your friend
While this is important all year round, it’s especially important to be vigilant with the classroom hygiene in the winter. Make sure you wipe over desks, keyboards and other areas that are frequently touched.
Equip yourself with supplies
Make sure there’s a ready supply of tissues and hand wash on hand in the classroom. Many schoolteachers ask parents to donate tissues and hand wash for the classroom at this time of year. Send them a reminder via School Stream!
Look after yourself
As a teacher you’ll build up a strong immune system being exposed to children’s germs each year, but you need to remember to take care of yourself so you can continue to be an effective educator. Dose up on the vitamin C and practice what you preach in regards to hand washing, exercise and fresh air.