SYLACAUGA, Ala. – With schools now in session, the opportunity has increased for germs to spread in classrooms, buses, and after school activities. Keeping students healthy and out of doctors’ offices is important especially this time of year.

Courtney Lamberth, community educator for MainStreet Family Urgent Care, said there has been an increased number of strep throat cases since school started last month. “Everybody got their back to school colds,” she said.

Keeping children home from school when they show symptoms such as fever is an important preventative measure.

“Students need to be symptom free for at least 24 hours before returning to school, ” Lamberth reminds parents. This includes symptoms such as fever, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Lamberth tells parents that teaching proper and frequent hand washing is the most effective way to help students avoid sharing germs at school. Hands should be washed thoroughly after trips to the bathroom, before handling food, and after handling toys or shared classroom items.

There will be times when children do not have the option to wash their hands, such as on the school bus after school. When children aren’t able to wash their hands, Lamberth recommends using hand sanitizer or antibacterial wipes to eliminate germs.

Clipping small bottles of hand sanitizer to backpacks and packing individually-wrapped antibacterial wipes in lunch boxes are good ideas Lamberth has seen some parents use.

Be Prepared for Flu Season

While it may seem a little early in the year for the flu to be a major concern, it is not too early to prepare for flu season.

“The sooner the better,” Lamberth said. “It’s definitely a good idea to go ahead and get flu shots.”

MainStreet Family Urgent Care expects to have flu vaccines available by the first of October, and some local pharmacies have flu shots available now.

Rhonda Shierling for SylacaugaNews.com | © 2017, SylacaugaNews.com/Marble City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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