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Back to School: Tips on Staying Healthy, Safe

It’s almost time for kids and teens to return to school. And when it comes to their health, this time of year usually offers a ripe opportunity for getting sick. Here’s why, according to David Mishkin, M.D. [1], medical director for Baptist Health’s Care On Demand [2], a platform that provides patients with immediate online access to a doctor via an app.

“Large groups of people are getting back together after being separated for the summer,” says Dr. Mishkin. “What we find is that this is a great opportunity for people to get each other sick and spread germs.”

It’s not just the kids who may be recipients of germs. Parents are getting back into the full swing of things at the office and becoming more susceptible to infections as well.

“People are obviously doing more multitasking and returning to fully staffed offices and we see an uptick in infections,” says Dr. Mishkin. “Hygiene, particularly frequent hand-washing, becomes even more important.”

As South Florida moves further into the fall season, Dr. Mishkin expects the Care On Demand platform to see a surge in school-related viruses, especially in kids with sore throats, ear infections and upper respiratory infections. Adults as well might see flare ups in their allergies, he adds. And there’s the added stress of returning to full work and school schedules, which can weaken people’s immune systems.

“The best message is prevention and early intervention,” Dr. Mishkin. “You’re better off interacting with us at Care On Demand [2] early, before it becomes too complex for parents.”

Here are several tips for helping fight infections and staying healthy and safe when classes restart later this month.

Back-to-School Handwashing Tips:

Here are hand-washing guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

Safety Tips for Kids Returning to School

The National Safety Council provides this checklist covering back-to-school safety:

Walkers

Bike Riders

Bus Riders

Drivers


Care On Demand
If getting to a health clinic is difficult, Baptist Health offers Care On Demand [3] for individuals anywhere in the state of Florida. Care On Demand [3] is an app that conveniently allows you to see a doctor for minor illnesses and injuries via your smartphone or tablet, and the physician can prescribe medicines if needed or recommend someone if you need further evaluation.