Back to School, Back to Germs

by Nurse Rose Melendez | WGTS 91.9 FM

Our pencils are sharpened and yellow school buses are back on the road. That’s right – it’s back to school time. Unfortunately, that also means that school-aged children get sick more often. Nurse Rose Melendez shares her advice to ward off the back-to-school sniffles.

How often do most kids get sick during the school year?

Nurse Rose: It’s completely normal, especially for young children, to get the sniffles a few times a year as their immune systems develop.

  • Younger children get an average about five to eight colds per year
  • Teenagers get about four colds per year

Why do children get sick more often?

Nurse Rose: Children generally get sick more often for a few key reasons.

  • They’re immune systems are less mature and are constantly being exposed to new germs
  • Children are in close contact with one another at school and daycare
  • Kids, especially young ones, have “germy” habits like putting their hands in their mouths or forgetting to cover their mouths when they sneeze

How can we help prevent our kids ?

Nurse Rose: Help keep your kids healthy this school year with these simple tips.

  • Get your child vaccinated
  • Teach proper hand-washing (about 20 seconds in warm, soapy water)
  • Provide hand sanitizer
  • Teach your child germ etiquette like covering their mouths when coughing or sneezing
  • Set a bedtime that allows for adequate sleep
  • Encourage exercise and health eating



Rose Melendez, RN

Rose Melendez, RN

Head of Emergency Department

Rose Melendez, RN is the head of the Emergency Department and Nursing Administration at Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center. Tune into WGTS 91.9 FM every Wednesday at 7:40 a.m. to listen to Nurse Rose live on the radio.

Need medical care fast? Adventist HealthCare has you covered with three Emergency Departments and three Urgent Care Centers in Montgomery and Prince George’s County.