Dr. Benjamin Neuman, a virologist from the University of Reading, says: “During the course of a school day, one single child has the potential to create almost one million bacteria. It is these bacteria that cause rashes, colds and upset tummies, so with teaching equipment such as interactive white boards and iPads constantly being touched and shared by children, germs are likely to spread far more quickly and easily.
“One of the simplest ways to help keep germs at bay is to zap them before they get the chance to spread. Keeping hands clean with anti viral foam or wipes is an easy and effective way of doing this, so I always recommend that parents keep a handy bottle or packet on them. A wipe or squirt rubbed thoroughly into the hands is very effective and is often a lot easier than getting children to wash their hands more frequently!”
The rise of the mobile phone ‘selfie’ means that children’s heads can more regularly come into close contact, which can make it easy for head lice to spread from one person to another.
Boots Pharmacist, and busy mum, Angela Chalmers, says: “However hard we try to avoid it, most families will experience head lice at some point and quite often, this little problem can even be passed onto mum and dad, but there are some simple things you can do to try and keep your child head lice-free:
- Check your child’s head regularly – at least once a week so you can spot head lice as soon as the eggs appear
- For girls, opt for hair styles that keep the hair tied back such as plaits and pigtails, over loose hair
- Make sure your child has their own hairbrush for use at sleepovers and sport clubs and try to encourage them not to share with other people
“If your child does catch head lice, thankfully your local Boots pharmacy can come to the rescue with a range of treatments designed to get rid of the problem - fast. Treatment options range from traditional shampoos and solutions, to a nifty electric head comb, so there is a solution to suit everyone.”
Score an easy Eye Check
With 80% of a child’s learning achieved through sight, the new school term is the perfect time to make sure your child’s eyes are healthy. Boots Optometrist, Carolyn Norman says: “All children have their eyes checked when they are babies, but given that sight deterioration or eye problems can occur at any age, it is important to continue with a free eye health check at least every two years from the age of four. If parents suspect a problem at an earlier age, they should consult their GP or optometrist.
“After being away from the classroom for the summer, signs such as a child rubbing their eyes a lot or blinking excessively may indicate a sight issue, but sometimes there are no obvious symptoms. This is why it is vital to book kids in for a free eye health check. It is also worth remembering that eye health checks can actually be really interesting and fun for children. After all, kids love experiencing all things new and different."
To ensure kids can start the new school term as they mean to go on, here is the Boots UK back to school health checklist:
Easy eye health check: With so much to see and do, children’s eyes need to be kept in tip-top condition to ensure they do not miss a moment of the fun. Boots Opticians provides free, NHS-funded eye health checks** to all under 16s and make it easy for parents to keep young eyes protected by including its Protect Ultratough UV lenses, as standard, with every single pair of children’s frames it sells. Also, knowing children are prone to a bit of rough and tumble, the Boots Ultratough lenses benefit from being scratch resistant, reflection free and are so tough they are virtually unbreakable! Visitwww.boots.com/en/Opticians/ to book an eye health check online.