UnityPoint Methodist In School Health
UnityPoint In School Health is a joint venture with UnityPoint Methodist and Pekin Public School District 108 to provide healthcare services to all District 108 students.
Our goal is to keep students healthy, safe, and ready to learn.
As you and your family prepare for a fun-filled holiday season, keep in mind that cold and flu season is also upon us. Hand washing is one of the best ways to avoid the spread of infections.
It is important to get your child into the habit of washing their hands often and thoroughly. All day long, your child is exposed to bacteria and viruses—when touching a playmate, sharing toys, or petting the cat. Once their hands pick up these germs they can quickly infect themselves by:
- Rubbing their eyes
- Touching their nose
- Placing their fingers in their mouth.
The whole process can happen in a matter of seconds, and cause an infection that can last days or weeks.
Hand washing can stop the spread of infection. The key is to encourage your child to wash their hands throughout the day. Some ideal times include:
- Before eating (including snacks)
- After a trip to the bathroom
- After playing outdoors
- After petting an animal
- After sneezing or coughing (even if they covered their mouth)
- When someone in the household is ill
So what is the proper way to wash hands? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following steps:
- Wet your child’s hands.
- Apply clean bar soap or liquid soap to the hands
- Rub the hands vigorously together. Scrub every surface completely.
- Keep rubbing and scrubbing for 20 seconds to effectively remove the germs.
- Rinse the hands completely, then dry them
Keep in mind that although 20 seconds of hand washing sounds like an instant, it is much longer than you think. Time yourself the next time you wash your hands. Pick a song that lasts for 20 seconds and sing it while you wash, I found that Happy Birthday works great. Encourage your child to wash her hands not only at home, but also at school, at friends’ homes, and everywhere else. It’s an important habit for her to get into and may help you to enjoy your holidays free of illness.
Valerie Cheek RN, BSN
A parent/guardian must present proof of their child's physical examinations and immunizations as required by the State of Illinois and the school district. Examinations and required immunizations must be conducted within one year prior to the date of entry. Failure to comply with state requirements will result in the student's exclusion from school until the required health documentation is submitted.