As the days are getting colder and the evenings are getting darker, the germs are starting to creep their way into schools! Immune systems are starting to weaken as the first half term comes to an end, with both pupils and staff feeling the effects of the first few weeks back.
Combined, children lose nearly 20.1 million school days due to the common cold1 therefore we thought we would share some tips on how to stay fresh and away from any lingering illnesses in the classroom…
Clean your hands
Washing your hands is so effective at stopping the spread of any infections or illnesses that may be sitting in the classroom. Ensuring you’re washing your hands well and often is great for stopping passing any germs between classes.
It is important to keep surfaces clean in order to keep the spread of illness at a minimum, but also important to ensure that we don’t overreact to all germs as it is essential that our body learns to resist them when we are exposed to bacteria and viruses. Having a good balance of this is key, so make sure you have some wipes near you!
Stepping outside for even 20 minutes of day can drastically improve your physical and mental health. Being inside a classroom all day can get ‘stuffy’, warm and is a hub for germs to spread. Taking your class outside for 20 minutes to learn outside, explore nature or even being outside with them at break time can be a great release. The fresh air can work wonders!
Try avoiding touching your face
This is easier said than done in some cases, especially with longer hair or when fidgeting. The highest number of germs within a school can be found on key boards, pens and portable devices – all of which we hold with our hands! Trying to resist touching your face can decrease the chance of catching anything contagious – which of course links with regular cleaning of hands.
If all else fails and you feel poorly yourself, do not attempt to come into school to ‘fight another day’! Sometimes we need to just completely give into being not well and let our body fight it. By coming into school, not only will you extend the period you feel unwell for, but by passing it around the school you could trigger an increase in absence and the cycle of germs will continue!
This also links to nutrition and sleep. Fuelling your body with wholesome nutritious food will mean your body can work more efficiently, with more energy and fuel to fight off any potential illnesses. This can easily be achieved through a balanced diet which allows for treats but don’t forget all the micronutrients you can receive through fruit and veg!
Sleep is one of the most important factors in allowing your body to recover and reset for the next day. Whether you’re fighting off a cold or trying to avoid the stomach bug going around your school, it is essential that you keep on top of your sleep. Aiming for as much quality sleep as possible can result in a huge improvement in your energy levels and physical health. Turn your phone off or on silent mode half an hour before you go to sleep and no doubt you’ll slip into a deep sleep in no time!
Although it is important to try our best to avoid becoming ill, it is just part of life! Once you feel unwell take good care of yourself and make sure to rest and sleep as much as you can.
If you are struggling with illness within your school and your staff are struggling as a result, please get in touch. We have high quality teachers, all compliant and interviewed by a headteacher, who can step in at any point to cover classes day to day, cover PPA time and cover any long-term sickness.
Please call us on 03301 242801 for more information or register online and create your account for free at www.opusteach.co.uk.
1 https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/961629/school-holiday-warning-pupils-missed-class Alison Kershaw, 20million school days lost: Shock figures reveal rise in children skipping lessons. Daily Express, 18 May 2018