RICHMOND, B.C., August 30, 2013 – Children and adults heading back to school and to their regular routines this fall should take simple precautions to stay healthy and prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria.
“Illnesses and infections such as a cold, the flu, pinkeye, and strep throat are common contagious conditions kids are likely to catch at school by touching multiple shared surfaces,” says London Drugs Pharmacist, Pindy Janda. “Hand washing is important all of the time but particularly when there is a change in routine – such as going back to school. Busy environments like schools and workplaces provide an ideal breeding environment for viruses and bacteria and prevention is the key to staying healthy.”
In addition to hand washing, Janda explains that it is important to practice good “sleep hygiene”. This involves choosing a fixed bedtime and awakening, avoiding daytime naps as well as monitoring caffeine and alcohol consumption. Getting back into a consistent sleep routine is one of the most important things for both children and adults.
Allergies are another common concern this time of year. “Parents must check expiration dates and renew or refill prescriptions, especially for urgent allergy medications such as epipens,” says Janda. “There are also new products on the market like Allerject which simplifies the injection process during the emergency treatment of anaphylaxis. Many parents don’t know about the new Allerject and should definitely consider this talk-through device in the event of emergency. Also, prescriptions are not required for Allerject, making it easy for parents to renew their child’s anaphylaxis medicine at the start of the school year.”
Eight Health Tips for Back To School, Back To Routine
- Wash hands frequently. Regular hand washing using soap and warm water for at least 15 seconds. If water and soap are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and ensure you rub your hands until the product is dry.
- Update allergy medications. The start of the school year is a good time to update expired epipens and consider the new, easy-to-use Allerject. Children with allergies should have medications available at school and at home with most schools requiring parents to update medical information and medications at this time of year.
- Get back into a sleep routine. It’s time to set a strict bedtime and awakening-time. After a couple of weeks, your body will get used to the pattern and your sleep quality will improve.
- Check for head lice. With children being close together in classrooms lice has the opportunity to spread to many children. Parents should do regular checks through the hair for lice and larvae with a fine toothed comb. If discovered, parents should visit London Drugs and get a head lice treatment program to eliminate and stop the spread of lice.
- Remember sun protection. The days at the beach may be coming to an end but that doesn’t mean we aren’t still being exposed to UV rays. During lunch and recess children are often outdoors. Parents need to remember to continue applying sun protection when the UV Index is high. For more information on sun exposure visit this blog post by Dr. Art Hister.
- Ensure vaccinations are up-to-date. Parents should ensure all vaccinations are up to date and many schools will ask for an up to date list. Injection Pharmacists are available to assist with vaccinations in many cases. Certified Injection Pharmacists can be found at these London Drugs locations.
- Be mindful of nutrition. Healthy breakfasts and lunches are key to getting children and parents through a stressful day. Additional supplements can be discussed with a pharmacist.
- Check expiration date of all medications. This is also perfect time for parents to check the expiration date of all over the counter medications at home. Especially antihistamines like children’s Benadryl for example. Expired medications can be recycled at any London Drugs.
London Drugs pharmacists are available for in-store consultation to provide patients with the most up-to-date treatments and care.