Back to School, Kids Are Packing – Germs That Is

School is in, healthy kids are packing…germs that is

Have you ever noticed that during summer our kids are healthy and not usually sick? Then as soon as they go back to school, they come home complaining and you need to get out your fevermates patches and see how bad their fever is. Why is this?
As a young mom I wondered why colds, flu and other sickness usually affected the whole family. When one of us got sick the rest of the family was sure to follow. Of course, that does make sense. Colds and flu are usually airborne viruses that spread through other people coughing and sneezing, for example. This means that if one of us gets sick, it’s likely that everyone else in the house will eventually get it too. To try and prevent this, there are things that can be done. For example, one of my friends always wears a kn95 mask when someone in her house gets sick. This, usually, helps to prevent the spread of germs, lowering the number of people in that household getting colds or flu.

I remember when I worked at the bank, it was a good job with health benefits. One of those benefits was sick leave.

Having sick leave was great; however my supervisor didn’t like it when I called in sick. What was the point of having sick leave if it couldn’t be used.
Having accumulated time off you would have thought it wouldn’t have been a big deal when I called in because my baby was running a 101* temperature, but it was.
My supervisor would not approve the time off to take my baby to the doctor. The doctor wouldn’t treat her without one parent with her, in person. My babysitter wouldn’t take her either she said it wasn’t her place. And…she was right!
At the time, the only solution I could come up with was to wait to take my baby girl to the doctor on Saturday…4 days after her temperature peaked!
I know…I was young, impressionable, dumb and thought I didn’t have a choice at the time. All because I was afraid of losing my job.
What does this have to do with healthy kids, school and germs?
The decisions we make on a daily basis will be determined by our individual circumstances not based on public health.
For parents it’s their employment circumstances. Lots of parents find themselves in this type of situation. In spite of having health benefits to use, they still feel forced into going to work when they are sick.
This then creates the second problem…now their kids are exposing other kids to whatever you’ve got and so begins the cycle.
If the children are sick employers aren’t anymore concerned about them than if you were sick. So you’d better not call in.
Now the daycare provider gets mad because you’ve just exposed the whole center to your “germs” thereby endangering the public health!
What is a parent to do?
It’s a terrible dilemma really and one I found myself in all too often. You either had to show up or lose your job.
That was over 25 years ago, with jobs so scarce these days who can blame anyone for going to work sick. But, is it the right thing to do for our health or our family’s health?
This is why so many kids show up at school sick and pass the germs from kid to kid, classroom to classroom because mom and dad have to go to work, or else.
Last year in our community there was a terrible tragedy that occurred as a result of a child going to school sick. This incident endangered the public health of three school districts and the entire county!
He hadn’t been feeling too well, mom thought he just had the flu. At the time of getting off to school in the morning, he felt a little better so mom sent him on. The child started running a high fever and the school called the parents to come pick him up.
As the fever continued to spike the mom took the little boy to the doctor and immediately he was admitted to the hospital! Within 17 hours this little boy died due to meningococcal disease that he was exposed to at school.
This is an extreme example but one that hit all too close to home. Had the little girl who exposed this virus to the whole population of the school been kept home until she was not contagious, this little boy might still be alive and living a normal life.
The reality is that we get sick all too often because it is passed from one person to the next at the office, school, ball games, when we should have been home in bed. We take it home and pass it around the family once or twice, sometimes all winter long.
Our immune systems get beaten to a bloody pulp…
Our bodies never completely get well. We end up with diseases like lupus, fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue. These diseases are the result of over medication, non-responsive immune systems and super bugs attacking an under rested, over worked body.
I know…I was there 15 years ago. Working all the time not paying attention to what my body was telling me. Being sick constantly, using antibiotics completely and yet the constant build up of germs within my body caused the lasting effects on my system now known as chronic fatigue syndrome.
I’d go to work sick and share my bug with co-workers, customers and friends. While working I’d put my head down on my desk just for a little while trying to feel better and make it to 5 o’clock.
Stupid it was, looking back it was plain old dumb! But, we do what we do out of necessity sometimes and look back years later much smarter and wish we would have done things differently. All we can do is take that knowledge and put it to work for us today.
How do we protect our health and our kids health…
from the rampant surge of colds, viruses and infectious disease that is starting this year at a much earlier date than last year?
Here are some simple tips that will help ward off the winter bugs and viruses.
  • Wash your hands as often as possible with soap and warm water. Don’t just run the water over your hands and think the germs are going to slide down the drain…no, wash your hands…for 30 seconds wash with lots of suds then rinse and use the paper towel to push open the door. (Millions of germs live on door handles, telephones, water fountains and pencils, too).
  • When you have to cough or sneeze, don’t do so into your hands. Turn your head and sneeze or cough into your sleeve. This traps germs in the clothing not broadcasting it into the air
  • Avoid touching your eyes with your hands, lots of germs enter your system through your eyes, nose and mouth (mucus membranes).
  • When you have an opportunity, inhale warm water into your nose/sinuses to rinse out topical pollens and germs this will help your system fight much harder. You can also use warm salt water if you prefer
  • Drink plenty of water, I know it’s harder during the cold months, but your body still needs those 8 eight ounce glasses of water even during winter to help flush out the toxins
  • Don’t share bath towels and wash cloths, give each family member their own set and wash often, especially if sick. We used separate colors for each of us and washed the towels every other day.
  • Never share utensils or drinking glasses
  • Never kiss on the lips. Grandma always showed us by kissing our kids and the great grand-kids on the cheek, forehead or neck. This way she didn’t pass on those germs or diseases and it was a good safety tip to teach our kids, too.

During winter it is hard to find ripe fresh fruit and vegetables to provide the proper nutrition.
This makes it especially important to supplement your diet with good vitamins, herbs and essential oils. By helping our body stay strong our immune system will be able to protect our health so it doesn’t crash and burn out.
Our family’s current supplements of choice are customized to our specific needs and those needs change all the time. We reassess our nutritional needs every quarter that way we maintain optimal health and vibrant energy and restful sleep. Like Batman and Robin our healthy regimen of vitamins, herbs and essential oils compliment each other while protecting our body 24/7.
So, don’t wait for your body’s system to get run down like I did 14 years ago. Why find yourself and your family sick all winter long. If you would like a free, comprehensive health assessment, contact me to schedule yours today.
Start using these tips today! Help get your body fully protected now. It will thank you with vibrant, good health all year long.
Here’s to a season free from sickness, enjoy your week.
Here to Serve,
Carla J Gardiner
p.s. We want to stay fully protected, too! If you have any tips you can pass along, we’d love to hear them. Remember, sharing is caring…leave your comments below.