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Mon August 20, 2012

DUPAGE COUNTY-With the new school year arriving, the DuPage County Health Department has suggestions for students, parents and faculty on how to prevent staph infections, including MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) in schools and at home.

Here are some general hygiene tips:

  • Keep your hands clean by washing thoroughly with soap and water. Use an alcohol hand gel when soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid sharing eating and drinking utensils.
  • Avoid sharing unwashed towels, washcloths, clothing or uniforms.
  • Avoid sharing personal items (e.g., deodorant, razors).
  • Change socks and underwear daily.
  • Wash bed linens and clothes with hot water and laundry detergent. Drying clothes in a hot dryer, rather than air-drying, also helps kill bacteria in clothes.
  • Bathe or shower with soap each day and after every sports practice or competition.
  • Keep cuts and abrasions clean and covered with clean, dry bandages until healed.
  • Follow your health care provider's instructions on proper care of wounds.
  • Avoid contact with other people's wounds or material contaminated by wounds.

In addition to these tips, students participating in sports should remember these recommendations:

  • Do not share towels, clothing or uniforms.
  • Don't store wet, dirty clothing in lockers.
  • Avoid sharing personal equipment.
  • Keep equipment clean. Follow coach's directions about cleaning the equipment.
  • Report any cuts, abrasions or wounds to the coach and school nurse and follow their instructions.

Also, if parents need immunizations for their children, those services are available at the Public Health Centers in Lombard, Westmont and Wheaton. A wide range of childhood and adult immunizations is available for a fee.  Childhood immunizations may be available through the Vaccines For Children (VFC) program for children who do not have insurance or have insurance that does not cover immunizations. Parents should contact the Health Department at (630) 682-7400 to check the eligibility of their children for VFC.

For more information on the DuPage County Health Department, follow us on Twitter @DuPageHD or become a fan on Facebook.

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