The Germiest Places at School and What You Can Do to Keep Your Kids Healthy (FIGHT BACK!)

Education is important! So, we look forward to sending our kids back to school to receive that all-important, life-enhancing education. We all know this; and we all know that sending your kids back to school increases the risk of their exposure to germs. At best, those germs may cause a mild cold or a bit of discomfort; but at worst, those germs can lead to some dangerous issues that could compromise the health and well-being of your child and family. We’re here to help!

So, think about education in two ways – The education that they get at school; and the education that you give them to fight back against those germs… because sending them back to school is like sending them into a war zone.

Experts say American children miss 22 million days of school each year due to colds, flu and other infections.

Even scarier: In a new survey, seven out of 10 teachers say their classrooms aren’t regularly disinfected by custodians, and more than half say they spend their own money and time ridding their classrooms of germs. (Thank you teachers!) Now let’s lend them a hand!

Improve the Odds

Let’s see if we can’t improve those odds… a little education, a few new (or improved) habits and a bit of hand sanitizer and wipes can go a long way toward improving those odds! Let’s start with our own education by identifying the “germiest” places at school.

Bathroom Doors – Let’s start with the bathroom, which most people think is where most germs lurk. Not so, as most bathrooms are cleaned regularly. The bathroom door is another story. Not all kids wash their hands as they should, so entering or exiting could be hazardous to your health!  If you start with “my-shield” hand sanitizer in the morning, you’re won half the battle (it lasts 4 hours and then some…)

Cafeteria Trays – Not all cafeteria trays get wiped off as they should between uses. Tell your kids to use their hand sanitizer before they pick up their trays and before they eat their meal. (If you pack “my-shield” hand sanitizer in their lunchbox, make sure they use it at least as soon as they sit down, even if they’ve already handled the tray. The hand sanitizer will kill any existing germs they may have already picked up from the tray and keep on working throughout the rest of the day.) Do not let those little hands get anywhere near the mouth before the hand sanitizer!

School Desks – Students spend most of the day at their desks… sometimes they change rooms and go from desk to desk. That means sneezes, coughs or simply spittle (and the germs associated with it) are left on the desk. They don’t get wiped down often. Then the kids bring the germs home to Mom and Dad and the rest of the family.

Art supplies and sports equipment – Again, the biggest threat to your kids is the transmission of germs from one child to another through touch. It’s a pretty simple equation really – Kids pick up germs, they spread the germs through touch (say on something like art supplies or sports equipment) – and then your kids pick them up on their hands when they touch them. DANGER! But not so fast… do your kids touch their face? (Almost certainly)… and if they do, the germs spread to their systems through their noses and mouths. How can you control that? (Hint: If it’s inconvenient to carry wipes everywhere you go, then use LONG ACTING Hand Sanitizer.) DITTO Computer Keyboards!

And the #1 Germiest Place at your kids’ schools?
Drinking Fountains – Kids put their mouths on the drinking fountain, which is cleaned even less than the bathroom doors. Teach your kids to drink without touching the metal of the fountain and to let the water run for one or two seconds before drinking. OR Send bottled water with your children to school in their backpacks! But tell them NOT to share! (Kids love to share…)

So, the kids are at school and no longer under your protective wing. What can you do?

GOOD – Teach kids not to touch their faces. (Yeah, right)… at least try to start an “awareness campaign”. Of course, who hasn’t been in a school environment and propped their head up with their hands while listening to a lecture. Just 2nd nature, right?

Teach them to wash their hands properly. Need a little reminder for that? Get a copy of our hand-washing chart here to post in your bathroom for a while until they change their hand-washing habits. (Experts tell us it takes us about 21 days for a new habit to become the permanent way we do things.) Be sure to use “my-shield” foaming hand-soap… it is the best protection out there and gives your kids’ hands a boost when used with “my-shield” hand sanitizer.

BETTER – Educate as above AND have your kids use “my-shield” hand sanitizer before they leave for school in the morning. BOOM! They are protected for the next 4 hours.

BEST – After your kids use “my-shield” hand sanitizer in the morning before leaving for school, put a bottle of in their backpack and their lunchbox. (Continue to educate them.) Teach them to use the hand sanitizer before they eat their lunch.

WANT MORE PROTECTION? FIGHT BACK!

• Put a couple of “my-shield” DIY Sanitizing Wipes* in a baggie and put it in your kids’ backpack and lunch. Tell them to wipe down their desks and cafeteria trays before using them.

• Work with your kid’s school and teachers. Ask them to keep “my-shield” hand sanitizer on each teacher’s desk or make DIY* wipes available to them by keeping a canister on their desks.

• Ask your childrens’ school to hang a wall dispenser of hand sanitizer in the classroom and ask your kids’ teachers to teach the children the habit of using it whenever coming into or exiting the classroom. (Or get a concerned parents’ group together to chip in and buy one for your kids classroom and keep it stocked!  The refill bags are a pretty economical way to keep hand sanitizer… well, on hand! (and hands!)

But remember, not all hand sanitizers are created equally. Alcohol-based hand-sanitizer is DONE when it’s dry! This means that reputable hand sanitizers will kill any germs on the surface of your hands… but once it’s dry (30 seconds), it is done killing germs. “my-shield” hand Sanitizer keeps on killing for 4 to 6 hours and lasts through several hand-washings. If you sent your kids out the door in the morning with a squirt of “my-shield” hand sanitizer, they are protected for half their school day!

Stay tuned for more “back to school” info from our bloggers! In the meantime…

Do you have a tip to share that could help other Moms and Dads protect their kids from germs as they start back to school? Please scroll to the bottom of the page or visit our blog/forum and leave a comment. We will all benefit from your knowledge and appreciate your effort in helping us to wage a war on germs! (And share this information so others will join us in our fight!)  Let’s stay healthy this school year!

*Coming this week on our website – “my-shield” DIY Sanitizing Wipes

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