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Parenting & Education in Ireland

How to squash those school bugs!

The return to school alongside the change in weather naturally exposes our children to a range of ailments and infections both inside and outside the school gates. While it is impossible to avoid this exposure, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of your child succumbing to the latest bug doing the rounds. Read our tips on how to squash those bugs


Many illnesses and routine infections such as coughs and colds can be avoided through good personal hygiene. The importance of teaching your child basic hygiene routines to avoid the transmission of infection cannot be overstated. Encourage your child to wash their hand regularly with soap and water before meals and after visits to the bathroom. Where possible they should avoid sharing towels with other students.

Healthy Diet

A healthy diet can make all the difference in boosting your child’s immune system. It is important therefore to ensure that they have a balanced and varied lunchbox .Sugary treats should only be rarely and sparingly included in lunch boxes because all they provide is empty calories. When it comes to choice of drink, from a dental health point of view the best options are water or milk.

Head Lice

Unfortunately the return to school is often shortly followed by an outbreak of headlice. You need to be vigilant and regularly check your child’s head for evidence of lice or eggs – watch out for scratching. Regularly wash and comb out your child’s hair with a nit comb to check for lice and eggs, Unfortunately head lice have become increasingly resistant to different insecticides with recent research estimating that four out of five had lice are now resistant to the treatment used to date. A few new treatments have come on to the market recently so it is worth talking to your chemist for the most up-to-date advice. In any event, if you find the dreaded lice in your off-springs hair it is important to immediately inform your school so that other parents can be alerted to the need to check and treat their kids if necessary.


The majority of children will have been through the chicken pox illness before they reach primary school – most having contracted it during their time in crèches or playschools. However there will still be a number of children who have been lucky enough to avoid the illness. It is important therefore that a child who contracts chickenpox is kept away from school until the illness passes so as to avoid passing it on to their class mates.

A child with chickenpox is infectious from two to four days before the rash first appears until all the spots have crusted over. The chickenpox illness usually lasts about two weeks.


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