If you spend all day with young children you've probably been exposed to a lot of germs. It doesn't help kids to learn when they miss school and it can be tough for kids to learn when their teacher misses school too. Here are some tips for kids coughing during cold and flu season that you can use in your classroom. It might be a challenge to enforce these rules all the time, especially as you're busy teaching, but keeping an eye on sniffling and coughing kids can help the whole class stay healthy each year.
- Monitor kids coughing and sniffling: watch out for other symptoms, like a flush from a fever or if they seem to be having trouble catching their breath. If you have to, send a child to the school nurse so that they don't spread their germs to others.
- Establish and enforce a Cover Up rule: coughing kids need to get into the habit of covering their nose and mouth each time they cough.
- Also, establish and enforce a Wash Up rule: kids coughing into their hands need to immediately wash them with hand soaps. This may only work if you have a sink in your classroom, but it's one of the best ways to help stop the spread of germs throughout your classroom. Ensure kids wash their hands for 20 seconds.
- Monitor sniffling kids: if they wipe their nose on their hands or sleeve make sure that they wash their hands and get some tissues for their desk. If you have a small plastic bag, hang it from their desk or chair and tell them that used tissues go in there while they work. Then, they can toss the bag in the garbage at the end of the day.