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Back-to-School Tips on Hand-Washing to Prevent Spread of Germs

Prince William County Schools
August 29, 2013
hand washingAs school begins, thousands of students will be focused on learning, getting a good night’s sleep, and healthful eating habits. This is also a great time to remember that proper hand-washing can help prevent the spread of germs that can cause infection, especially during flu season which runs from October through mid-May, with most cases occurring in January and February.
Parents are reminded to be alert for any symptoms of influenza-like illnesses. The symptoms of influenza include fever and any two of the following: cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue, and occasionally vomiting and diarrhea. Children should stay home if they experience any symptoms of a flu-like illness, and remain at home at least 24 hours after any fever subsides without the use of fever-reducing medication, per the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
A public service announcement (PSA) is now running on the School Division’s PWCS-TV cable channels (Verizon Channel 18 and Comcast Channel 36) on the importance of good hand-washing hygiene. Directed toward children, the PSA recommends that children should scrub their hands with soap and water for as long as it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song two times.
Some tips to stay healthy include:
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. Clean hands with an alcohol-based hand cleaner if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with your sleeve or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Avoid close contact with those who have symptoms of flu.
  • Seek care for you or your child if needed, and please call ahead to your health care provider’s office to tell them what symptoms you have, so they can see you quickly and prevent exposing other people in the waiting room.

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