KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT/CNN) -- Many schools across the country, including Monroe County Schools, have asked parents to wash their children's backpacks before they return to school after winter break.
The schools said washing the backpacks will help stop the spread of flu A, B and strep. Monroe County School officials ask parents to at least sanitize their children's backpacks with Lysol if they don't wash it.
On average, elementary school kids get six to eight colds each school year, according to John Hopkins Medicine. For high school kids, it's about half that. Both groups are at high risk for the flu. Teachers and parents commonly refer to this cold and flu phenomenon as the "back-to-school plague."
Simple tasks like sanitizing school supplies and washing hands can help reduce children's risk of getting sick during cold and flu season.