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Three Health Hacks to Beat Common Back-to-School Germs
Holy Name Medical Center infectious disease experts shares tips to stop the spread of germs

Children and teens will likely end up getting sick between 8 and 12 times this year when they head back to school in the fall, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Holy Name Medical Center's chief of infectious disease says being proactive and educating families on germ prevention is key to keeping colds, stomach viruses, and other common contagions at bay.

"This is about being proactive and having a general awareness about what to watch for," said Dr. Suraj Saggar, chief of infectious disease at Holy Name. "Whether it's combating the common cold, flu prevention, or steering clear of head lice, there are few simple, everyday things students can do at school and at home to help keep their classmates and families healthy."

Colds & Flu: Wash your hands
The FDA says as long as you're washing your hands, it does not matter what you use – antibacterial or plain soap will do the trick. The main point is to lather up your hands and rinse in warm water for as long as it takes you to recite your ABCs.

Stomach Bug: disinfectant is your friend
Another way to dodge stomach bugs caused by a virus or bacteria is to know the germ hot spots at school. Desks, school supplies, cafeteria trays, and water fountains are among the germiest. If you cannot disinfect or wipe them down before use, wash your hands, use hand sanitizer, or avoid contact altogether. Bringing in a water bottle or using your own school supplies from home will help you contain the spread of unwanted germs.

Lice: Head-to-Head contact includes group selfies
Homework may be the least favorite thing your kid brings home from school, unless you count lice, which is transmitted by head-to-head contact. That means sharing sports helmets, hats, combs, and the ever-popular group selfies are off limits.