Tips to avoid the ‘Back to school plague’

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Beware of the “Back to school plague”- the time when kids tend get sick as the school year begins.

“Sniffles.The first thing as soon as they get back to school I feel like everyone gets the sniffles,” says Stephanie Kizziar, of the Lafayette Moms Blog.

Child illnesses tend to spike in the fall months, said Dr. Scott Hamilton of Lafayette General’s Pediatric Department.

“We see a bump in illnesses in September and October in pediatrics because kids cough on each other and stick their fingers in each other’s mouths and do all kinds of disgusting things kids do,” Hamilton said.

Kizziar’s daughter Addy is going to be be in kindergarten this year.

“I’m a germaphobe,” Kizziar said. “At my house, she knows she’s washing her hands before every meal and every snack. I’m hoping that translates to school when she kind of knows of we’re about to eat lunch, I better wash my hands.

Kizziar said she’s prepared her daughter Addy to avoid certain “germ hot zones.”

Some of these germ “hot zones” you want to warn your kids about: the bathroom door and the water fountain.

Experts recommend you talk with your kids about these surfaces, making sure they don’t put their full mouth on the fountain and of course – making sure they wash their hands.

To avoid getting sick, Dr. Hamilton recommends making sure children are eating a healthy diet before the school year starts and that they are going to bed on time.

“Start walking those bedtimes back to school bedtimes a week before school starts, or three days before school,” the doctor said. “Kids going to school tired don’t learn, they’re cranky, they get in fights.”

For Kizziar, she says she’s ready for her daughter’s first school year to begin.

“We went and bought uniforms last week and it was a little sad but I’m ready,” she said. “I think she is ready for a challenge, I’m ready for her to be challenged, so I think it’s going to be a good year.”

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