Protecting your child from infection

Infections are caused by germs entering the body.  Germs can be passed from person to person or indirectly by touching unclean equipment or surfaces.  Often, infections are easily dealt with, but sometimes they can cause serious problems.

Home hygiene

It is not possible, or even desirable, to rid your home of all germs, but there are some that we need to protect ourselves against.  To protect you and your family from germs, focus your cleaning efforts on germ hotspots in the home, such as cleaning cloths, sponges and chopping boards.


Flu is a common infectious viral illness spread by coughs and sneezes.  Flu can be very unpleasant for children.  They have the same symptoms as adults – including fever, chills, aching muscles, headache, stuffy nose, dry cough and sore throat lasting up to a week.  You can reduce the risk of your child catching flu or spreading it to others with an annual flu vaccine and good hygiene measures.  Always wash hands regularly with soap and warm water, as well as regularly cleaning surfaces such as keyboards and door handles, using tissues for coughs or sneezes and putting used tissues in a bin.


Norovirus, which causes diarrhoea and vomiting, is one of the most common stomach bugs in the UK.  Norovirus can be very unpleasant but it usually clears up by itself in a few days.  It is not always possible to avoid getting norovirus, but there are a number of steps you can take to help stop the virus spreading, such as washing your hands frequently and thoroughly, disinfecting surfaces and keeping your child off school for at least 48 hours after the symptoms have passed.

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