Sick Kids Etiquette Tips

Just like back to school time in September, the return from such a long break such as Christmas holidays, typically means that there will be a run of cold and flu. It’s like the back-to-school plague, a well-known hot spot for germs which we all dread.

One of the biggest spreading of sickness culprits is kids being around a lot of new people who they haven’t been around before, and in close contained quarters. They touch the same door handles, drinking fountains, crayons, and touch each other – sharing germs all day long. Sometimes it seems like the return to school is always followed by a leave from school due to illness.

A 2016 Shoppers Drug Mart poll found that 46% are not generally concerned about spreading the flu to other people. No wonder we all experience so much back-to-school sickness! This poll also found that 30% of adults who have children, have sent their kids to school or daycare when they were sick or contagious, and 86% of parents said they are annoyed when others send their sick kids to school or daycare.

Sick Kids Etiquette Tips

I think it’s time to share some Sick Kids Etiquette Tips!

Know the cutoff point for fevers – children should stay home if their temperature passes 100 degrees. They should be fever-free for at least 24 hours before returning to school/play dates.

Be honest with other parents – When kids have scheduled birthday parties and other outings, you’re responsible for disclosure so the other parents if your child has been or is sick, they should have a choice in whether their kids are exposed to known illness.

Teach your kids the basics – using tissues for runny noses, coughing into sleeves and washing hands are all things kids can do fairly easily to halt the spread of germs. It’s a good idea to brush up on ways to boost your immune system too!

Get vaccinated – no matter where you stand on proper etiquette, flu shots should be part of the plan. You’ll get peace of mind your children likely won’t be spreading the flu and they won’t be tracking it home either. Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacies across the country are making it easy by offering flu immunizations administered by an injection-certified pharmacist without an appointment, just walk-in with no appointment necessary.

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Don’t forget, when your child gets sick with the flu, keeping them home from school can help them recover faster. It also helps prevent the virus from spreading to other children in the school, which is critical to keeping everyone as healthy as possible.



One Canadian reader will win a prize pack from Shoppers Drug Mart.

SDM Flu Fighters Prize Pack

With a value of $150, it includes the following items:

  • Life Brand Hand Sanitizer
  • Cough Drops
  • Vaporizing Cold Rub
  • Electrolyte Maintenance Powder
  • Disinfectant Wipes
  • Vaporizer
  • PC chicken noodle soup
  • PC facial tissues
  • PC Feeling Soothed Tea
  • $100 gift card

TO ENTER: Fill in the form below with your qualifying entries. Good luck!


Disclosure: I am compensated for my part in the #SDMFluFighters program, all opinions are my own.



  1. I agree about cancelling playdates or visits if children are sick, because germs are so easily transferred. Washing our hands well is something we do to avoid getting sick.

  2. I try not to touch my face and eyes and nose – and it’s HARD. We do it like a bajillion times a day, and it’s a great way (read: terribly easy) to get sick. I also try to wash my hands frequently with hot water and soap, and always carry tissues.

  3. I get my fly shot every year and also take vitamins daily. Another good thing to do is wash your hands a lot.

  4. I try to ward off the cold and flu by boosting my immune system with a multi-vitamin. I also try to use hand sanitizer when I am out and about.

  5. wash our hands often and when they do get sick. Home made chicken noodle soup and lots of rest works

  6. I always wash my hands after coming home from anywhere, especially shopping and I also try to have a good night’s sleep as it keeps my immune system up.

  7. You mentioned all of my sick kid etiquette tips. To ward off illness use hand sanitizer, disinfect doorknobs and switches and try to get plenty of sleep.

  8. The importance of washing your hands often throughout the day cannot be stressed enough. You should be able to recall 5 times you’ve washed your hands each day.

  9. I make sure to have lots of kleenex’s on hand along with Boogie wipes, and my granddaughter loves the sniffle stick and it helps her breath, she prefers using it over vicks!

  10. I use lots of hand sanitizer when I am on the road, and wash my hands a lot when I am at home.

  11. Take vitamins, wash your hands and don’t drink out of the same beverage container as anyone else.

  12. we dont go out and share germs when sick – and we wash our hands often

  13. Each have their own hand sanitizer. Got a few around the house as well. Taught them young not to sneeze/cough in their hand so we’re all good on that front! Always up their vitC and echinacea this time of year!!!!

  14. We wash & sanitize our hands the minute we get home, stay hydrated, take daily vitamins, get at least 8 hours sleep and whenever possible avoid contact with sick people.

  15. I think that washing hands frequently and drinking clear fluids at least keeps colds and flu under control ????

  16. Just coming off the whole family having the flu, for us it is all about rest, taking it easy and drinking lots of liquids

  17. We ward off cold and flu by making sure we get enough sleep and eat antioxidant rich foods.

  18. As for etiquette I would say “cough into the inside of your elbow” so you aren’t spreading germs in the air and not when your touching someone. How do I avoid a cold or flu; I get a flu shot, eat healthy, wash my hands often and get lots of sleep

  19. When someone is sick in the house I take away the hand towels in the bathroom and put paper towels in their place. I also use Lysol wipes on all the light switches, door knobs and other surfaces that are often touched and do this several times a day. I make sure the person that is sick has lots of fluids close to them, blankets, and lots of tissues with a garbage close to dispose of them.

  20. Not only should you keep the kids out of school , but other things like after school activities and places with other kids, its always awful to miss hockey or dance or what ever , but its not fair to the other kids and people

  21. We eat as much fresh produce as we can even during the winter, drink lots of water, dress for the weather, get enough rest and wash our hands. When we do catch something, I use vicks vapour rub immediately, and lots of orange juice, gingerale and rest.

  22. We have a strict hand washing routine, we take vitamins and we drink lots of clear fluids.

  23. I try my best to get everyone to wash their hands, and drink extra fluids. It’s easier said than done sometimes.

  24. I try to get them to wash there hands more often,and keep there heads covered, but if sick, lots of rest, and fluids

  25. This is one of the only years that I did not stop in to get a flu shot and I have been sick since Sat night. I can’t recall the last time I felt this bad. I usually ward off cold and flu by getting a flu shot, eating lots of fruit, and drinking plenty of fluids. If I do get a cold or flu -chicken soup is helpful, cold medicine, Neocitrin (or the equivalent can help me get some sleep overnight). vitamin c is good too

  26. Daily vitamin D for everyone in my family is really important. That, plus healthy food and frequent hand-washing is all we need.

  27. We try to get lots of rest, always wash our hands, and remind our kids to cough or sneeze into their elbow and not into their hands! Thank you very much for the chance! 🙂

  28. Always wash your hands, drink lots of water, eat healthy, take vitamins, and get the flu shot!

  29. I am constantly asking the kids to wash hands when we get in the house and take vitamins to help keep them healthy. When sick there is nothing better than homemade chicken soup and tea with honey!

  30. We start taking oil of oregano at the first sign of cold or flu. We’ve been doing this for a few years now and it’s made a big difference in the length an illness lasts and how bad it gets.

  31. I teach my kids to sneeze or cough on their elbows instead of their hands as to minimize spread of germs.

  32. My sick kid etiquette tip is to not send your obviously sick kid to school or daycare – keep those germs at home!

  33. If my kids are sick they stay home from school. No one wants to be spreading and picking up germs at school. Lots of hand washing and rest around our house.

  34. It wasn’t long after school started that my child began to come home sick (almost weekly) I kept her home, gave her tissue, told her to cough or sneeze into her arm, make sure to wash hands and not to get close to those with sniffles and coughs.

  35. I am constantly washing my hands, I take vitamins and drink plenty of water so I don’t get sick.

  36. We wash our hands often, try to eat healthy most of the time, spend a bit of time outside everyday and ensure that we’re getting enough sleep!

  37. We wash our hands often and use hand sanitizer often. We also get out flu shots as soon as they are available each year.

  38. Wash hands often, cover mouth when coughing, and make sure not to share cups lol
    Thank you for sharing all this information. Very helpful this time of year.

  39. We make sure kids wash hands often, take vitamins and eat more fruit and veggies during the winter. I also wash their mittens/hats and coats weekly as so many germs can grow on them

  40. I’m crazy about making sure my kids wash their hands well and often. Obviously I’m a good example myself.

  41. We try and stay away from the flu by washing out hands lots. Using hand sanitizer out in public, not shaking hands and getting plenty of rest.

  42. I try to get the kids to wash their hands right after school when they are the most germy!

  43. Hand washing before meals, when getting home from being out, if someone else is sick is first and foremost to prevent it spreading!

  44. I make sure my kid (and myself) get more sleep, remind my daughter not to ‘share’ her water bottle, and we wash our hands (singing the alphabet).

  45. We wash our hands often. We also stay home if someone is sick, even if it means missing out on something fun.

  46. I always have hand sanitizer with me. We wash our hands as often as possible everywhere.

  47. I ward off cold and flu by practicing regular handwashing, getting adequate sleep, getting my flu shot and using hand sanitizer when away from home.

  48. I tell my kids (other than wash their hands) to NOT touch their faces to avoid germ spread.. Seems funny but it WORKS!

  49. Since we have a parent at home during the day we are pretty quick to let a kid stay home if they seem like they are past the sniffles and cough stage. I can see how you might have a hard time if both parents work, but really that’s the thing we do. Sending the kid to spread the sickness further is no good for parents or teachers!

  50. My children are adults now so I will talk about warding off cold and flu.
    My husband and I get an annual flu shot. I try to have a healthy diet for us with protein, fruit and vegetables. Of course, we have the odd treat.
    I am getting in the exercise mode after the business of Christmas. I walk and am getting into the practise of Yoga and stretching again.
    Getting enough rest is necessary as well. When one is feeling healthy, life is very good.

  51. WAshing hands first and foremost! also i find doing the bedding once a week keeps germs off our pillowcasees!

  52. I try to ward off the cold and flu by constantly washing my hands,and telling the other family members to do so as well!

  53. I have my daughter wash her hands as soon as she gets in from school. We try to eat healthy foods, and keep hydrated. Getting enough sleep helps as well.

  54. Hand washing us absolutely essential for me. Never touch your face when you’re out to ching door handles etc.,

  55. Washing hands is so important this time of the year. and try to remind the kids not to touch their faces, eyes, nose, mouth during an outbreak. Yeah, it’s nearly impossible to avoid the germs!

  56. Our son seemed to learn from day one at day care that you only cough or sneeze into your elbow. He’s corrected people on the bus lol

  57. We have to be very careful with little ones and keep on top of any symptoms they have.

  58. We are really conscientious when it comes to illness. We stay home because I do not want to spread those germs around. I had a 4 month old who was so sick with a cold/flu virus that he nearly had to be hospitalized and I don’t want to put anyone else through that.

  59. Making sure to always wash our hands, and sneezing into a tissue, not our hands. And home-made chicken soup works wonders too.

  60. I usually get a flu shot, frequent handwashing , use Isogel and carry a small container in my purse.

  61. When my children were sick, I kept them is a couch in a warm kitchen. I gave them cough medecine and children’s tyenol.
    For myself, I get a flu shot every fall. I try to eat healthy and exercise. I stay at home when I have a cold. I follow my doctor’s instructions.

  62. when you sneeze, sneeze into your arm so you don’t spread your germs to your firends and family

  63. I always get my kid and myself to wash our hands whenever we come in from outdoors, or finish playing with communal toys/playgrounds.

  64. I am a little anal about using a touch of bleach while cleaning, especially if I feel like something is coming on.

  65. Keep the hands clean. I even send individual wipes with lunch and make sure they use them.

  66. Washing hands, keeping all surfaces disinfected, Plenty of rest, lots of liquids!

  67. We encourage good handwashing practices. The best way to ward off colds is to not get the germ in the first place.

  68. Hand washing is the single most imnportant defense on preventing the spread of germs. I have signs everywhere:)))

  69. I try to get plenty of rest and I usually take a shot of Triple Sec…just to make me feel better 😉

  70. Don’t have little ones at home anymore, but for myself I wash my hands frequently and wash down surfaces/handles/door knobs etc when my husband is the one that is sick.

  71. We make sure to cancel any plans we have when the kiddos are sick! We wash hands often and sanitizer is all around the house. We use essential oils as well!

  72. We keep the kids at home when they are sick and definitely cancel any outtings with others. We make sure they are coughing into their elbows and washing hands.

  73. make sure you drink lots of water and wash your hands to try to keep the germs away

  74. I always keep my kids home from everything if they have a fever – no school, no parties, no play dates etc. I teach them to wash their hands a lot, to sneeze into their elbows, cover their mouths to cough, to not share food or drinks, and to blow their noses into kleenex and then wash theirs hands right after. It’s a little hard to keep them home from school with every little cold, because they would miss a lot of school if they stayed home with every sniffle, so I usually send them unless they have a fever. That being said, my preschooler hasn’t mastered sneezing, coughing or blowing her nose correctly, so if she has a really runny nose, or is coughing and/or sneezing a LOT, then I do keep her home from preschool. I’d rather not make everyone else’s kid sick!!

  75. I wash & sterilize my hands like crazy in the winter & avoid sick people like the plague 🙂

  76. I ward off cold and flu by affording unnecessary contact with people (shaking hands, that sort of thing)

  77. I try to get enough sleep and eat well. I also scrub my hands like a surgeon and wash my water bottle everyday.

  78. I ward off cold and flu by washing my hands often..staying away and telling people not to visit when they are sick and always carry purel in my purse

  79. i don’t send my kids to school when they are sick. i also make sure they cough into their elbow and keep their hands clean

  80. It usually depends on the sickness, usually rest, soup, and if he has a cough then we do a honey and lemon mix to help that

  81. if you’re not feeling well and the visits isn’t imperative – do everyone a favour and don’t go. thx

  82. Keep them home if they are sick, and encourage good handwashing always (not just when sick, as it helps prevent illness too!)

  83. we do our best to stay out of situations that may cause illness, and if we do need to go into a situation we wash our hands frequently and make sure we eat healthy

  84. I keep hand sanitizer in my purse & try to avoid Doctors offices & the hospital….that’s where people get sick from Flu quite often!

  85. I try to ward off cold and flu by washing my hands often & taking Emergen-C at the first sign of not feeling well.

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