Going back to school poses risk of getting sick - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Going back to school poses risk of getting sick

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Amarillo, TX - Now that school's back in session kids are getting ready to share many things with their classmates, including germs.

It's the third day of school and nurses said they are already seeing a lot of students coming in sick. One nurse was even too busy for an interview.

Parents and teachers are calling it the "Back-to-School Plague."

Amanda Griffin, M.D. and Texas Tech Physician, said as children gather in masses, germs can spread more easily from person to person. And these germs aren't found on the things you would expect. While most of us think germs exist in public bathrooms, we are told they are found more commonly on things you would assume are clean. "Things that are used more often can carry more germs,"Griffin said.

"Things that are touched more often... and so, a school phone certainly if it is by more people, have more kids mouths on it, could certainly carry germs. Thankfully their bathrooms get cleaned fairly regularly so while you think of water fountains or toilets or sinks carrying germs, they're usually cleaned pretty well so that is helpful. Again anything that students share or touch more frequently."

She said teachers desks are touched by more people as well and pose more of a threat when it comes to getting germs. Griffin adds once a germ spreads, it's almost like a chain reaction. Children can bring it home to their parents who can then bring it to work. She adds in order to prevent from getting these diseases, hand-washing is vital.

"Hand hygiene is always important," Griffin said. "Make sure the kids wash their hands after they go to the bathroom after they've sneezed after they've coughed. teacher your child to cover their mouth while they sneeze and cough so that they're not spreading germs as often and again hand hygiene is important."

Griffin suggests getting your child vaccinated to avoid these illnesses and to discourage them from sharing any food or drinks, which increases the risk of spreading germs.