Simplify Your Life:
How to Avoid Back To School Germs
There’s a lot to look forward to during the back-to-school season: new school supplies, new teachers, friends and sports. Unfortunately, there’s a big drawback to back to school (besides having to get the kids up, dressed & fed on time!) and that’s the increased germ exposure. This year, get smart and study up on these simple tips and tricks to avoid those nasty back to school germs.
Top 5 Tips For Dealing With Back To School Germs
1. Handwashing for the win!
Handwashing is the number one way to cut down on the spread of germs according to the Center for Disease Control. The problem is, most of us aren’t doing it right, especially kids. A great way to help your kids avoid back to school germs is to teach them how to wash their hands effectively. Use warm water and soap, scrub for at least 20 seconds (or sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice!) and repeat:
- Before and after prepping food
- After eating or drinking
- After using the restroom
- After touching an animal or animal waste
- After coughing or sneezing
- After caring for someone who is sick
- After treating a cut or wound
- After touching garbage
2. Tweak some behaviors
Making small changes to some of our habits can help us decrease the spread of germs. Here are some of the top ways little changes can make a big difference when it comes to back to school germs:
- Sneeze “like a vampire:” into your elbow (instead of your hands)
- Let water fountains run for a few seconds before drinking from the water stream, as water fountains can harbor more bacteria than toilets.
- Sharing is caring, but sometimes we unintentionally share germs with each other while we’re trying to share juice or animal crackers. Food allergies add an extra scary layer to sharing, so it’s important to teach littler kids not to share their lunches and drinks.
- The “5 Second Rule” is not a thing, so don’t eat things off the floor. We’re talking to you, Preschoolers!
3. Start The Year As Healthy As Possible
Start the year on the right foot before you get exposed to back to school germs! As the loosey-goosey schedule of summer comes to a close, start trying to get your kids back on a schedule closer to what you’ll be keeping at school. Prioritize quality rest since getting enough sleep helps keep your immune system in fighting shape, so limit stimulating devices and sugar in the evenings and getting back to an earlier bedtime routine (yes, negotiating toddlers, even if it’s still a little light out!). Make sure you’re up-to-date on medications (like asthma and allergy meds), supplements and vitamins, and taking them as directed.
4. Add School Numbers To Your Contacts
If your child does get sick, make sure you’re able to recognize the school’s number when they call by adding the nurse and administration numbers to your phone. Getting sick kids home and keeping them there until they’re well cuts down on germs in the school environment that can come into contact with healthy kids.
5. Use A Natural Disinfectant on School Gear
If you think half-eaten sandwiches and crumpled permission slips are the only things coming home with your kids, we’re here to tell you otherwise! Lunch boxes and backpacks spend time on gym, bathroom, and school bus floors until they become a petri dish of school germs. Give yours a spray down with a natural disinfectant when your kids walk in the door to cut down on germ exposure.
As parents, we’re starting the new school year right along with you, and keeping back to school germs at bay is a top priority in our homes. We’re proud to offer a family-friendly, multi-purpose cleaning solution as effective as bleach in Force of Nature. Learn more about how we harness the power of simple household ingredients to create a powerful cleaner that’s as effective as bleach, but gentle enough for your littlest students to use themselves.