How to Stop the Spread of Germs as Kids Go Back to School

We are proud to partner with UTMB Health to share healthy living tips with Houston moms.

Back to School season, and unfortunately, that also means Back to Germs Season. You know what I mean- we send our sweet babies out the door perfectly healthy, and they return to us a coughing, snotty mess. Ugh. While some sickness is unavoidable, there are things we can do as moms to stop germs from spreading like wildfire in our schools.

child washes hands to stop the spread of germsKeep Sick Kids at Home

Forget Perfect Attendance awards and don’t stress about missed work. If your child is sick, keep them home. Most schools have guidelines about symptoms such as fever, vomiting and diarrhea, so be sure to follow those, as well as use common sense for other yucky symptoms.

Wash Your Hands and Cover Your Mouth

With the start of the school year, some kids may need an extra reminder about washing their hands, especially after using the restroom or before eating. It may be a good idea to go over hand-washing protocol with kids, especially the little ones. Also, coughing and sneezing is inevitable when kids have a cold or other illness, but remind them to cover their mouths to prevent sharing yucky germs with their classmates.

Get Your Flu Shot and COVID Booster

Health experts recommend getting your flu shot by the end of October, but there have been waves earlier than that in recent years. It may be advantageous to get your flu shot sooner than later; talk to your healthcare provider about what’s suitable for your family.

There will also be a COVID booster available this fall, offering additional protection against the virus.

Be Aware of RSV

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) season overlaps with flu season, and leaves infants and the elderly particularly vulnerable. If you have a baby or are around babies or older people, it is especially important to be mindful to stay away if you have any respiratory symptoms. RSV leads to low oxygen levels and dehydration, and in some cases can lead to hospitalization and even death.  There is not an RSV vaccine widely available as of yet, but that could change as early as this fall.

Our friends at UTMB Health have resources available to help you prioritize your health this fall. In addition to the recommendations above, they urge everyone to eat a nutrient rich diet, get enough sleep, and exercise.

This downloadable back-to-school action plan is one way to be an active participant in prioritizing your health.

Additionally, more resources are available on the UTMB Health back-to-school webpage.

Moms, it’s all our responsibility to stop the spread of germs as best we can as our kids head back to school. Let’s all follow these common sense guidelines so our kids can have a happy, healthy school year.

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The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB Health) system of care includes hospitals and emergency departments on four campuses, a network of primary and specialty care clinics, urgent care and walk-in services, and collaborations with physicians throughout the region. UTMB Health serves patients throughout Texas, and features an extensive network of primary and specialty care clinics and centers that complement hospitals on three campuses.

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Elizabeth Baker
Elizabeth was raised in Houston and met her husband Ryan shortly after graduating from Texas A&M with a journalism degree. A few years later, Grayson {Sept 2010}, turned Elizabeth’s world upside down, not only with his sparkling blue eyes and killer smile, but with his profound disabilities and diagnosis of Mitochondrial Disease. After two years of navigating the world of special needs parenting, Elizabeth and Ryan were blessed with Charlotte {Jan 2013} and Nolan {Sept 2015}, perfectly completing their party of five. Elizabeth and her crew live in Katy, and when she can steal a few moments for herself, she can be found out for Mexican food and margaritas with girlfriends, binge-listening to podcasts and audiobooks, or trying once again {unsuccessfully} to organize her closet. In addition to her role as Managing Editor of HMB, Elizabeth writes about faith, politics and special needs parenting for publications like Scary Mommy and HuffPost.You can connect with Elizabeth on Facebook,Twitter, Instagram, or


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