It’s almost time to pull the kids off the monkey bars (or the Playstation) and strap on their backpacks for another year of school. While most parents are thrilled to have their kids’ occupied, back-to-school is also a perfect storm for spreading germs.
The combination of crowds of kids, cooler weather, and boosted stress and excitement can put your family’s immune systems to the test. Luckily, there are a few easy precautions you can take to safeguard your kids (and yourself) from back-to-school germs.
1. Disinfect your Home Door Knobs Daily
Have you seen what kids are like when they’re grouped together? It looks like the zombie apocalypse—arms outstretched touching everything they can, falling all over each other, and someone inevitably gets bitten. Then, those germy fingers come to haunt your home.
You can’t stop kids from touching everything in sight, but you can stop yourself from contacting commonly touched objects in your home. Do a daily disinfect of door knobs, light switches, drawer/fridge handles, and other high-contact spots to keep germs from spreading.
2. Add a Travel Size Sanitizer to your Child's Backpack and your Personal Bag
Your kids probably learned to slather on the hand sanitizer during the pandemic. That’s a habit that you should continue to cultivate.
Make sure they have a full travel-size sanitizer before each school day—they run out quickly! And remind them when to use it. You should also keep a bottle in your bag and remember to squirt a little on every pair of hands after school is over. The sooner you disinfect the better. Try to sanitize as soon as you pick them up or after they get off the bus.
3. Revisit Proper Handwashing Techniques
Studies have found that only about half of students wash their hands after going to the bathroom. And even fewer use soap . What makes that study even more depressing is that the students were in middle school and high school... Just imagine what kind of grime gets under the nails of elementary school kids.
Here’s the thing though: Your kids will wash their hands more if you tell them to. And, they’ll wash more effectively if you teach them how. Handwashing is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs (including COVID-19). It’s proven to protect children from infections and disease, and it prevents illness in the general population by up to 21% .
If you need some help to make handwashing cool, try using this catchy handwashing tune. Kids love it because it’s all over TikTok, and the accompanying dance features proper handwashing techniques as the moves!
4. Take Vitamin C and D Supplements
If you want to survive those back-to-school germs, you’re going to need to fuel your immune system with vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C and vitamin D are essential to a healthy immune response, but getting enough of them can be tough.
We get most of our vitamin D from the sun. But in the autumn, we all spend more time indoors, increasing the chances of becoming deficient. Vitamin C is easy to lose too because our bodies can’t store it. Kids and adults need a constant supply to keep their immune systems healthy.*
The best way to ensure your family is getting your vitamins and minerals is to take a supplement. We know what you’re thinking—getting kids to swallow pills is not worth the hassle. Luckily, you can supplement in liquid form with Liposomal Vitamin C and Liposomal Vitamin D. Liposomal vitamins are safe for kids and adults*, and you can take them in a tablespoon or add them to a drink. As a bonus, they’re much easier for your body to absorb, so you get more nutrients with each dose.
*Ask your doctor before starting yourself or your kids on a new dietary supplement.
5. Sanitize Lunchboxes and Backpacks Every Day
Your kids’ fingers are the biggest germ-spreaders, but everything they bring home from school has the potential to spread infection. Especially the items that contact food and moisture like lunchboxes, water bottles, and backpacks.
When your munchkins get home from school, have them drop their bags and other stuff in a box in the garage or on the porch. This will serve as a kind of quarantine zone. When you have a moment, you can give everything a good spray/wipe with disinfectant. It only takes a few minutes, and it’s much better than discovering what’s been growing in your kid’s unwashed lunchbox for the last few weeks.
6. Water Bottles Over Drinking Fountains
School drinking fountains are gross. Kids put their mouths all over the spigot, making them massive germ spreaders. They’re home to loads of bacteria and infectious mucus.
Unfortunately, drinking fountains are also a lot of fun to play with in the eyes of young children.
It’s hard to tell them not to touch them, but they might avoid drinking fountains if they aren’t thirsty. Send them to school with a water bottle so they’ll be able to hydrate in the classroom. That will make those disgusting fountains less appealing.
The end of summer vacation is full of stress, excitement, and change. But it doesn’t have to be full of sniffles and sick days too. Protecting your family from germs will give everyone under your roof the best opportunity to succeed this fall.