School is back in session and knowledge is power when it comes to preventing the spread of germs among students. As schools can be a breeding ground for germs, the experts at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center provide important tips to help keep kids healthy as they head back to class and become exposed to hot spots including water fountains, student desks and chairs, computer keyboards and gym sports equipment.

“Keep in mind that preventing illness is better than curing it,” said Mary Ellen Walter, RN, Infection Control Coordinator at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center. “Remind children to cover their coughs or sneezes, clean their hands frequently and be sure that they have all required vaccines before heading back to the classroom. The CDC recommends the annual flu vaccine for everyone over 6 months. Be safe not sick.”

Students are encouraged to study up on the following guidelines to help protect themselves, friends and family members from catching the cold or flu this season:

1.) Wash Hands Frequently:

· Wet your hands with clean, warm water.

· Use antibacterial or regular soap and rub your hands together to create a thick lather.

· Scrub the back of your hands, fingers, palms, in between your fingers and around your nails for at least 15 seconds. Hum the ABC’s to help time it out.

· Rinse your hands well and dry them off with a cloth or paper towel.

2.) Cough or sneeze into the nook of your elbow or a tissue.

3.) Keep antibacterial wipes within reach to clean high-traffic surfaces you share with fellow students.

4.) Boost your immune system with a multivitamin, a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, whole grains and low in saturated fat, exercise and a good night’s sleep.