Chinese baby holding nose while sneezing

If your child goes to daycare, kindergarten or a preschool, you can most likely expect them to bring home a bug or two throughout the year, not just in the winter. Before you get too carried away sterilising things and wrapping your little one up like a polar bear, here’s what Jacqui-Lee Cloete, Morningside Manager and Learning and Development Lead at Opti-Baby & Kids suggests consider.

Tips from the teachers

  • Washing hands is the most import step of all! Teach your child from early about washing hands. After number one, wash once. After number two, wash twice. When wiping snotty noses, either wash hands or use a hand sanitiser after every wipe.
  • Choose a proper immune booster and change it to a different type every six months. Children who are very prone to illnesses should also be given a good vitamin as well as a booster from their doctor for their specific needs.
  • The cold does not make children ill, so when the teacher leaves her windows open don’t force her to close them. Open windows help to circulate the stuffy air in the classroom and prevent germs breeding in the heat.
  • If it’s not too cold, don’t force your children to stay indoors – let them play outside (but don’t send them to school without shoes or a jersey).
  • If their mucous is clear it’s good; a change in colour is a sign of infection.
  • Don’t send your child to school when they are sick.

“The cold does not make children ill… Open windows help to circulate the stuffy air in the classroom and prevent germs breeding in the heat.”

  • Trust your mommy/daddy instincts – they are seldom wrong. If you’re not sure, chat to the teacher or principal who will guide you.

Sick boy preschooler holding handkerchief to nose

  • Physiotherapists are a great help during this time. See if there is one that operates from your child’s school to save you on stress, time and money.
  • Keep wet wipes (the ones for sensitive skin) in your child’s bag. The area around their nose can get raw and sore, and wet wipes help soften the wipe. A good cream/bum cream can be applied around the nose to keep the skin soft.
  • Teach your child to cough into their inner elbows to reduce the spread of germs from hand to hand.
  • Lastly, remember that teachers get sick too (often caught from the children at school) and sometimes they push through even when they are sick. If they are on sick leave, be understanding. It’s not their choice to fall ill and they are doing the best they can. Even superheroes get sick sometimes!