In the Classroom: The Blue Jays

Blue Jays learn about the spread of germs

A happy and healthy winter

It’s the time of year when we watch the leaves change, take out warmer clothes, and watch football on the weekends. It is also the time when various cold and flu viruses start making their way through classrooms.

The Blue Jay room is no exception, and we have had lots of coughing and sneezing from both children and teachers. We have used this as a jumping off point to investigate how we can prevent illness and the proper way to treat it when we do get sick.

The Blue Jays encourage self-help skills whenever possible, so our focus has been on teaching children things they can do themselves to keep healthy. Our greatest prevention measure when dealing with illness is hand washing.

The children are familiar with this practice as it is routine when we arrive in the morning, and it is now more important than ever. We wash when we enter the room so we do not spread germs.

We also routinely wash hands throughout the day, after toileting or before and after eating. We have spent time going over the proper procedure with the Blue Jays, and there is a helpful chart in the bathroom with visual steps as well.

Children also wash hands whenever they blow their nose or cough into their hands. Speaking of coughing, we have been teaching the Blue Jays the safest way to cover their cough. We encourage the children to cough into their bent elbow, as this part of the body is much less likely to come into contact with toys or other friends.

Some other preventative measures we can take to reduce the spread of germs is to make sure we are eating healthy food (and enough of it), and getting a good amount of rest at night and during nap. We continually talk with the children about how healthy food and rest will help their body function, stay healthy, and grow.

If illness does happen, and it usually will despite our best efforts, we have also talked to the Blue Jays about how to take care of themselves when they are not feeling well. Much like preventative care, getting rest is extremely important to help young bodies fight the illness. It is important to drink lots of water and stay away from junk food.

We have also talked about medicines that can help our bodies, as most children have taken medicine at some point or another. In starting to teach these practices to children at such a young age we hope they will become second nature, and they will encourage other younger children to do the same.

Here’s to a happy and healthy coming winter!