Common Illnesses – Your Health is in Your Hands!

When it comes to colds, flus and other common illnesses, it’s always “that time of year!” Hands-on exploring is a great way to learn – but think about all the things you do every day that bring you into contact with germs! The list is endless and so are the ways that you can pick up and pass along bacteria and viruses that can make you and others sick. So how can you help to stay healthy this school year?

Your Health is in Your Hands: hand washing with soap and water, or using a hand sanitizer, for 15 seconds is the best way to prevent illness. It works by removing or killing germs before they can find their way into our bodies.

Get Immunized: protect yourself and your family by following the recommended immunization schedule. Vaccines are safe and effective, and protect people of all ages from harmful diseases.

Don’t Give Germs a Home: remove and kill germs at home by cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and items that are touched frequently. When buying a disinfectant read the label carefully to see what germs it can kill and how long the product needs to sit on a surface to kill the germs. You can also make a disinfectant at home by mixing one teaspoon of household bleach for every two cups of water. Use this to disinfect toys, countertops, bathrooms, floors and other commonly touched surfaces around the house.

Stay Home If You Are Sick: and remember to cover your cough or sneeze using the inside elbow or a disposable tissue. Then wash those hands again! If you’re keeping your child home from school, remember to call Safe Arrival.

By law, School Principals are required to report some infectious diseases to the health unit. The list of reportable diseases is the same for all health units across Ontario. The Health Unit investigates all suspect and confirmed cases of reportable disease in Simcoe County. If the health unit confirms that a person does have a reportable disease they will determine who is at risk and ensure that staff, families and students are provided with the appropriate information and any follow-up needed to protect themselves and their families.

You can find general information about common infectious diseases on the health unit’s website or by calling Health Connection at 705-721-7520.

Let’s all do our part to stay healthy this year!

~ Stephanie Jones RN

Follow me on Twitter @SMHealthySchool

What can you do to avoid catching the flu or cold? 
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