By Meg Dickens
Schools all over the country encourage parents to wash their child’s backpack before heading back to school from the holiday break. Johnson County Schools added jackets, coats, and lunchboxes to the list. Sanitizing supplies decreases germ spread and helps quell the “back-to-school plague,” which refers to the cold and flu spread in schools often found after breaks.
“During this time of year, the flu and the cold virus seem to be somewhat rampant across the nation. We are taking any steps we can to prevent the spread,” said Johnson County Director of Schools Mischelle Simcox. “The custodians have been doing a great job sanitizing and getting the schools prepared for when the kids return.”
According to John Hopkins Medicine, children have an average of six to eight colds per year and are more susceptible during the fall and winter seasons. These germs can be airborne or lurking on surfaces. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) warns that children two-years-old or younger are at a higher risk for flu complications. CDC reports show that since 2010 children five-years-old and younger suffer between 7,000 and 26,000 flu-related hospitalizations in the United States.
Schools all over the United States and prestigious health organizations agree that the annual influx of colds and the flu virus can be reduced with a little extra work and conscious thought. Be cautious and keep the possible risks in mind. Knowledge is all it takes to reduce risk.
The majority of sources list the same preventative measures. People of all ages are encouraged to get a flu vaccination. Some children between the ages of six months and eight-years-old will need two doses. Other suggestions boil down to sanitation. Keep germs to a minimum by disinfecting areas, washing your hands regularly, and taking preventive measures by sanitizing items that are handled regularly.
Be one of the first to know what is going on in the Johnson County School System by following the Johnson County Department of Education’s Facebook page. See school board meeting times and agendas, central office hours, and more at the Johnson County Schools website jocoed.net.