MIAMI (CBS4) — Going back to school is synonymous for most kids with getting sick. Illnesses such as colds, flu, head-lice and pink eye are common but there are 5 major things you can do to stay germ free through the school year.

But do parents know what those five things are?

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CBS4’s Cynthia Demos put parents at Dolphin Mall to the test.

She first asked father of three Ovidio Naranjo what the most important thing his kids could do to stay germ free through the school year. He said, “Wash your hands.” Correct! Miami Children’s Hospital pediatrician Dr. Marcos Mestre said the golden rule for school is washing your hands.

“Obviously before they eat and anytime they feel they’ve gotten their hands dirty,” he said.

He also recommends that kids carry hand sanitizer if they can’t make it to the wash room.

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School nurse Cindy Harrah agreed and said the second most important thing to do to stay healthy is to get into a sleep routine.

“They will require 8-10 hours of sleep a night,” she explained.

Number three on the list is going to a pediatrician before school starts for a checkup.

Cynthia asked dad Jose Llerena if his kids went for a checkup and he said, “Yes, my wife took care of that!”

Number four on the list is make sure vaccines are up to date including meningitis and tetanus booster. Number five on the list is all fitness all the time and check your child’s BMI. That’s something mom Maria Perez did last year. She said her daughter actually lost 20 pounds and is now healthy and happy for school.

So parents, if your kids follow these tips they can be sick only 25-percent of the time that is a 75-percent improvement rate.

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