CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Germs can lurk all over your child's classroom leaving many kids to get sick.
Dr. Kelly Rodgers says it's like clockwork that 1 to 2 weeks after school starts she sees children with illnesses of the respiratory system like the common cold.
"Germs are spread most often through the droplets when we cough, sneeze, or talk to people," Dr. Rodgers said.
Germs also spread through contact and touch. Dr. Rodgers says you can help your child keep a cold at bay by simply teaching them the basics.
It's important to teach children not to not touch their eyes or nose and to sneeze and cough into a tissue or into the crook of their elbow. One of the biggest things kids can do is wash their hands as often as possible with soap and warm water.
"They need to do it for 15 to 20 seconds about as long as it takes to sing the happy birthday song twice," Dr. Rodgers said.
Teachers can keep an alcohol based hand sanitizer and Kleenex available for students which also cuts down on germs. Another tip is to pack your child a water bottle instead of having them drink from the water fountain and if your child is sick with a fever, it's important for them to stay home.
"Try to minimize your exposure to other people if you are sick or if there are sick people in the family," Dr. Rodgers said.
What you feed your child can also fuel their immune system. Keeping your child's plate full of color when it comes to fruits and vegetables can help build your child's immune system according to Dr. Rodgers.
Another immune booster is making sure your child gets at least 8 hours of sleep as well as a flu shot.