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Six Tips for Preventing Illness in the Classroom

It’s that time of year again—the time of the year when the changing of seasons certainly means the spread of one nasty cold or virus after another.

It’s impossible to completely prevent any illness from sneaking into the close quarters of your classroom—but there are good ways to keep a healthy classroom culture that might just help.

1. Lysol is your friend. Lysol and air sanitizers should always be present in your classroom to clean house after your kids leave. Says one special education teachers who previously worked in early education and now works in high school, spraying down desks, toys and the like will help ensure germs don’t linger no matter the grade. 

2. Wash your—and your students'—hands. It’s the simplest of tasks but its the one that gets overlooked the most. Make sure that both you and your students are washing your hands regularly throughout the day. gives some guidelines on times to wash hands to give you an idea of just how frequently you should be doing so: when arriving at the facility, before and after eating, after handling wastebaskets, before/after administering medicine of any kind and more. 

3. Keep plants in the classroom. Research has proven that going green in your classroom by maintaining plants helps improve the air quality and therefore the health of you and your students. "Many common houseplants, such as, peace lilies, snake plants, and spider plants, improve air quality and improve responsibility in your students,” says NEA

4.Use your own pencil! It’s tempting to borrow writing utensils from your classmates when going around checking work or in a bind- but don’t do it, even for a second, experts say. Carry around your pencil to easily avoid this way of spreading germs. 

5. Get your flu shot. A flu infection has the possibility to carry serious complications, so taking the threat seriously and getting vaccinated can’t hurt. The CDC doesn’t recommend getting the vaccine annually to everyone six months and older for no reason!

6. Keep a healthy state of mind. In order to be in the best shape to fight off infections and illnesses, it’s important you’re taking care of yourself. This includes practicing healthy eating patterns, getting regular exercise, drinking plenty of water, and managing stress. Try these tips for avoiding stress to start getting active about your mental health now. 


Compiled by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor