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October 22, 2012 06:06 PM

Staying Healthy At School

sioux falls, sd

You've likely told your children to wash their hands and cover their mouth when they cough.  But there are more steps you can take to make sure your children don't get sick this cold and flu season. And health officials say now is the time to have that talk with your children.

Students at the Challenge Center in Sioux Falls got a lesson from a Sioux Falls police officer on how to stay safe. Fifth grader Zoe Nadolski also has another goal: stay healthy.

"I'm hoping to not miss school because I love it here, but also if there is a really boring activity, I'll try to get sick. Well, probably not," Nadolski said.

All jokes aside, Sioux Falls School District Nurse Gayle Bates says we are getting to that time of year when more students are out of school sick.  And she has some advice to help keep your children healthy.

"One of the germiest spots in a classroom is the teacher's desk because all the students are coming over and touching things," Bates said.

Bates encourages not only teachers, but students, to clean their desks once a day. You should also teach your kids to wash their hands and use hand sanitizer when they come into contact with germs.

"Help them learn how to catch their sneeze. Instead of on the hands, we want to catch our sneeze on our elbow," Bates said.

Staying hydrated will also help.  So bringing a bottle of water along to school is a good idea.

And in today's society kids can have a lot of activities outside the classroom.  But it's still important to make sure they get plenty of sleep.

"Kids today are as adults are in our society. We are sleep deprived and a lot of it has to do with electronics. Kids have TVs in their rooms," Bates said.

It's all advice Nadolski is taking to heart as she works toward her own goal.

"I'm trying to go for a perfect attendance, which I have never achieved," Nadolski said.

Bates also encourages parents to make sure their children get a flu shot.

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