Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Plagues of Back to School Season

Just last week I was sitting on the beach in Ocean City, New Jersey, taking in the sun and the summer and the slow pace of it all.

Today, both of my kids started school.  Crazy. 

There are a million things I could say about this, and in the next few weeks, I will probably find some way to say them.  The tears, the transition, the fact that this means that this means I will have another BABY this season.  But for today, I’m going to focus on something else. 

The germs. 

When both of my kids started school at age 2, the onslaught of disease began.  Norovirus, roseola, hand foot and mouth, strep, Fifth’s disease, croup, and every cough and cold known to man.  And I’m not surprised.  At preschool drop-offs, I would scan the room and see snotty nosed kid after snotty nosed kid.  Then I would see my child suck on a toy after one of the aforementioned snotty nosed kids dropped it, and within days my child would himself become a snotty nosed kid.   I suppose it is par for the course, but man, did it suck.  As the kids get older, the frequency of diseases and snotty noses has decreased, which is nice.  But it still doesn’t stop the dread I get when I get one of those “notices” from school. 

You know the ones.  They have a little smiley face or an apple.  They look all happy, until you read the fine print: “We’d like to inform you that a student in your child’s class has come down with [insert name of deadly plague here].  Please contact your doctor if your child shows any symptoms of [insert name of deadly plague once again].” 

Whenever my kids would come home last year with one of those smiley notes pinned to their backpacks, my heart would sink in dread.  What would it be this time?  There were some scary ones in there.  MRSA. Lice.  Pneumonia.  But what is one to do?  I can’t stand over my kids 24-7 with hand sanitizer, and they have to go to school.

In short,  I hope for the best, and I take small measures.  We sanitize hands at preschool pick up (I wait until I get in the car, so as not to display my OCD tendencies for all to see).  We wash hands right when we get home (to get the 1% of germs that hand sanitizers won’t cover).  We talk about how important it is to wash their hands at school before meals, after going to the bathroom, after the playground, and after handling toys that have been handled by snotty nosed kids.   We beg Casey to stop sucking his thumb (it hasn’t work so far).  We keep them home when they are sick, for their own sake, for the sake of their fellow students, and for good karma.  But most of all, we keep our fingers crossed.  And with a newborn arriving in November, we are going to cross our fingers extra hard. 

Please, disease Gods.  Spare us this fall to the extent you can. 

But I am bracing myself nonetheless.   I have stocked up on medicine.  I am prepared.

With the back to school season upon us, and as you stock up on your own supplies, be sure to take inventory of where all of your medicines are stored and ensure they are stored up and away and out of sight.  As you may remember, I did a medicine overhaul in the early summer and have since been a bit psycho about keeping EVERYTHING high up and out of my kids’ reach.  It’s a pain at first, but once you are in the habit it becomes second nature. 

And here’s one more great tip from OTC Safety for the back to school season:  Always keep your medicine cabinet stocked with medicines specifically for your child so that if a fever or cough hits in the middle of the night, you will be ready and will NEVER be tempted to give an adult medicine to your child.   Click here for some more information about certain medications and tips about giving medicine to children generally. 

May we all have a disease free back to school season!

Disclosure: I received compensation for this post as part of the CHPA OTC Safety Ambassador Program.  All the opinions reflected here are my own.  

1 comment:

  1. MY bff was in ocean city new jersey last week. In can't be that big.


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