First-Time School Germs Give Me Anxiety

It’s the nightmare all moms talk about after starting school or daycare for the first time: how frequently their children and/or other family become sick after being exposed to an uptick of other children and their germs.

My son is getting ready to go to preschool

Our three-year-old son has never been to school or a day care setting since he’s been born. He’s always stayed home with me or joined in on my nanny job with the same three kids. In that way, we have been lucky to avoid a lot of the seasonal germs that are continuously getting passed from one kid to another in a large group. It’s definitely been a positive means of protecting me and my health with CF.

However this year, that all changes as our big boy is heading off to preschool part-time. And honestly, the CF side of my mama heart is panicking about how to handle the school germs! (Bonus anxiety: We will also be welcoming a newborn into our home around the same time!)

Anxiety over first-time school germs

The thought of being exposed to the many school germs is overwhelming, truthfully. I know our son is thoughtful about germs and hand hygiene, but he’s also three. It’s not fair to expect him to never get sick or bring home a cold. On the other hand, we want him to learn and benefit from preschool so we feel it’s important to send him.

A cold is never just a cold when you are living with CF, but a much more serious situation. A simple cold often makes me much sicker for a longer period of time than the healthy people around me. I know from many years of experience a cold ultimately means time and energy devoted to IV antibiotics, increased mucus and coughing, and lung function loss. Add the presence of COVID to the situation and it really ups the ante.

Control of germs at home

Our home has served as the safest retreat from germs, especially this past year as we were able to put in place more conservative measures that protected me from COVID and all other seasonal germs. During that time, everyone remained cold-free and it was an awesome year of stability.

The part that freaks me out the most is losing control over the exposure and spread of germs in our own home simply because other families at school may be more relaxed without a high-risk individual in their household. Our son may pick up a harmless cold or two, but then that ultimately affects me, the newborn, and my husband--the cycle of sickness continues.

Ways to reduce germs

In the end, there’s only so much we can do to protect our family from the school germs. As a household, we will continue to practice some safety measures that have proven to keep us healthy in the past during cold and flu season hoping they are enough.

Some of those germ reducing practices include:

  • Immediately wash hands and change clothes after school/out in public
  • Wash and dry on high heat coat/school bag periodically
  • Request the teacher alerts us to any new sickness in the classroom
  • Wipe down commonly touched surfaces daily
  • Stay up-to-date on vaccinations for all family members

My hope is the years of infection control and additional COVID safety will be enough to keep our family this school year so we can focus on the fun, learning, and big transitions to come!

How do you combat the school germs with CF? Any tips or tricks to staying healthy? Share with us below!

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