It doesn’t matter if your kid is starting preschool for the first time or a repeater, they are apt to get that preschool “sick” after the first couple of days – or weeks. Some take longer than others to succumb to those germs, but, there’s no avoiding it. Preschool “sick” is the wost.
Sure, the common cold is everywhere, and unless you are a total clean freak, germs are all around us. Add a slew of snot-nosed kids that love to shove stuff in their mouths and don’t understand “personal space” and you’ve got a wonderful muck-ridden germ pool ready to cause catastrophic never-ending results.
I stand a few feet above the whole mess at the school I hang out at with my tot, but I see it all unfolding. The child that gives a piece of pretend food a bit more attention than the others and then tosses it to the ground only to be picked up (tasted) and played with by another. The markers/crayons grabbed, mauled, used, and tossed to the floor then used by others. Food left for only a moment unattended snatched up and gobbled by an extra grabby (and hungry) tot.
Really, you have to be an amazing octopus teacher to have enough hands to grab things just in time.
No matter how often we (and I) wash our hands, and I spray everything down with Lysol or bleach those toys, the preschool “sick” is lurking and once one wee tot gets it, the others are soon to follow.
But, as a parent, there are a few things you can do to help prevent that icky-sick from bringing your family down. You can’t spend your whole life hovering over you child or expecting others to do the same things that you are in your home to prevent snotty-nose, but you can create a happy-healthy toddler, which can help keep the preschool sick away.
-Learn and RESPECT your preschool’s sick policy: All reputable schools should have a realistic and understandable sick policy in place. And, you, as a parent, should take the time to familiarize yourself with it and respect it. That means don’t skip steps. If your child had a fever the night before his regularly scheduled day and your school has a 24-no fever policy, don’t bring your kid the next day. Really. Make plans that night to stay home with your child or schedule someone who can. Yes, I know this throws a wrench into things, but your child (and your preschool) will thank you.
-Eat healthy: Instead of juice or milk, offer water and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in your child’s lunch. Try to avoid sending your toddler to school with processed or packaged foods. This way he’s getting as much fresh and healthy nutrients into his system as possible, which helps fight off all that preschool sick. And, he may just turn into to a food inspiration for other kids and families to start sending – and eating – healthy, too!
-Wash everyone’s hands before leaving the school: Sure, your preschool teacher may think you’re a bit of a neat freak for slathering the tot’s hands, but really, giving his hands a good wash before heading home is a great way to introduce good hygiene and to leave all those preschool germs down the drain. You’ll get your hands all scrub-a-dubbed, too. Who knows what’s hanging out on your steering wheel.
- Get a good night’s sleep (The entire family): HAHAHAHhahaha. Yes, as a mother of a toddler, this is one step that sometimes seems totally unattainable, especially when;
A: Someone is snoring (partner)
B: A child toy is making a noise somewhere in the house
C: The sick toddler is hacking
D: A toilet is running all night long.
A good night’s sleep is the best way to start fresh and full of shiny happiness the next day (can’t you hear the birdies chirping and see the rays of sunshine?). This means creating a bed time routine with the tot and sticking with it. And, the adults could do the same thing, too.
-Get used to it: Your kid is going to get sick. It doesn’t matter if you invest in humidifiers, medications, special soaps, or herbal remedies, the day is going to come when your child sports the “green nose.” Don’t fight it – embrace it. Cuddle up and spend some cozy time with your tot while watching some great movies, eating vitamin C packed fruits and veggies, and tossing back some honey-lemon hot water during a pretend tea party (boys enjoy a nice tea party, too). Kids get sick. Adults get sick. Let the body rest and recuperate and you’ll all be happier in the long run.
Looking for more remedies for the preschool sick? Here are some other suggestions: