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Doctors, parents preparing for back to school bugs

Kids will head back to school just days from now and local doctors are preparing for an influx of patients. (Cropped Photo: Courtesy: Pennsylvania Department of Health / MGN)

Kids will head back to school just days from now and local doctors are preparing for an influx of patients.

Many little ones get sick at the start of the school year and that's something that Horry County mom Emily Cooley worries about.

"I do get very anxious about that," she admits.

The start of the fall semester means the threat of germs quickly spreading throughout schools.

Dr. Lexie Brown, with Tidelands Waccamaw Community Care in Socastee, said "right at the beginning of school season, that's when we start to see most of the viruses pop out."

Brown anticipates more young patients in her office as soon as school starts back up.

"All these kids come together and they congregate together. So one small virus can pass around to multiple kids throughout in an entire classroom and that goes pretty fast throughout a school," she explained.

Parents can't be with their kids 24/7, but they can prepare their children and teach them how to not get sick.

The CDC says kids can cut their chance of getting sick from some illnesses by up to 58 percent by hand washing alone. Doctors recommend teaching them to wash before and after eating, and when they're done using the restroom.

"Making sure that they are using soap and water and we say do it to the happy birthday song twice," Brown said.

Parents should also teach their children the proper way to cover their mouths.

"We always cough and sneeze into our arms. We do not wipe out faces on our sleeves," said Cooley.

Doctors say to start these habits at a young age inside the home.

"Just consistency, make it fun and make it part of our daily routine," Cooley said is what works for her.

Cooley said she knows her kids are prepared to head back to class and she just hopes the hygiene lessons they've been taught stick with them and help them fight off those "back to school" germs.

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