Back to School Time Brings Germs
It’s back to school season, which unfortunately (lots of times) means It’s Back To Being Sick season.
And that stinks.
And guess what?
Preventing sickness — the common cold, pink eye, hand-foot-mouth, the flu, and respiratory illness — is really easy to do.
You just need to WASH YOUR HANDS and regularly disinfect surfaces!
In case you weren’t sure of what number has that many zeros, it’s TRILLION.
There are A TRILLION GERMS IN ONE GRAM OF POOP.
It’s a big deal. And I tell my kids that when they pick their nose, it’s “their nose’s poop.” Gross, yes, but it gets the point across. As far as I’m concerned you can’t ever really wash your hands too much.
Another thing that I learned from the CDC representative is that hand sanitizer is not a substitute for hand washing. It will do the job in a pinch, but the best thing is to always use running water and soap.
Free Printable Hand Washing Signs from the CDC
If you’d like some hand-washing signs to print out to hang in your home, your classroom, or at church, etc., this link has the PDFs.
They are in other languages, too!
War on Germs
As I said in my previous post for Lysol, I do try to keep our own home as germ-free as I can, and I do purposely wipe down the door knobs, light switches, remotes, and hand-held screens pretty often with Lysol Disinfecting Wipes.
I’m going to continue to do this, but I’m going to also really try to round up the kids as often as I can to wash their hands. I’m also going to make a very concerted effort to wash hands before we eat anything — this can be tricky on a busy Saturday afternoon when we are grabbing food on the run, or are hanging out at the mall.
But I’m convinced.
Hand washing is easy, and it’s cheap.
What about you? Do you have a plan of attack to keep the germs from invading your home this Back to School season?
I like things clean. I feel calm and collected when the house is tidy and everything is in its place. I used to think this was a personality flaw, but now I realize I am who I am, and I like who I am.
I, Stephanie O’Dea, happen to be a sort-of-Type-A Clean Freak.
I also love the Smell of Clean. I’m not a “vinegar and baking soda” kind of person I am fine if other people clean with these products but they just aren’t the cleaning powerhouse I need them to be.
1, I don’t want the house to smell like Easter Eggs all the time and 2, I just can’t wrap my brain around the fact that the germs are dead.
Because that’s what really matters to me. DEAD GERMS.
One of the side effects of my Love Affair with Lysol® is that we don’t get sick very often [KNOCK WOOD].
Sure, we get the sniffles now and then, but colds and flus don’t wipe through our house. I mostly credit this to Proper Hand Washing [side note: evidently I wash my hands so much that my fingerprints are hard to read now? I learned this after the school district fingerprinted me for volunteer work], but I do also use a lot of Lysol® Disinfectant Spray and Disinfecting Wipes.
I still let my kids get dirty we spend a lot of time outside, and I am not worried about outdoor germs or bugs, or licking a bit of worm slime. That kind of stuff is absolutely fine with me.
One of my earliest memories is going to family church camp and watching my grandmother go over the entire room with a can of Lysol® Disinfectant Spray. She sprayed down the light switches, TV (it didn’t have a remote, so she sprayed down the controls on the front of it which I’m pretty sure you aren’t supposed to do with electronics), the doorknob, and the entire bathroom.
She also laid down newspapers so we never stepped directly onto the carpet… huh. I’m beginning to see where I get my tendencies…
This Is What I Do To Help Keep Us Healthy
To keep us as healthy as we can be, I do ask my kids and all kids that come into my home to wash hands. It’s become such a habit for my kids (and for me) that I don’t even really need to say anything anymore. Everyone plops their shoes/backpacks/etc. by the front door and immediately washes their hands.
We do entertain a lot of other kids after school or on playdates, and I ask them to do the same. Every once in a while I get a kid who doesn’t want to wash hands “but I just washed them after lunch” or “my mom says I don’t have to” but I stick to my guns. This is a big deal for me, and I will take kids into the bathroom if needbe and help them wash their hands properly.
I also try my hardest to keep little kids in one area of the home, and provide easy-to-wash toys. I like Duplo Legos, Little People —hard plastic toys— these toys can easily be run through the dishwasher if necessary, or I take the bin outside later and spray the toys down with Lysol® or rub them clean with a Disinfectant Wipe.
This is what I did when I ran preschool centers, too. It keeps the toys shiny and dustfree, but most importantly it keeps boogers and saliva germs away. I also at least once a month (and more often during cold and flu season) spray down the doorknobs, light switches, and TV remotes with Lysol® or use the Disinfectant Wipes. I’ve written about this in the Totally Together: Shortcuts to an Organized Life book.
This truly is one of the best ways to make sure to Kill Germs Dead before they spread throughout the family and cause illness.
Lysol® and BlogHer
I’m doing some work with Lysol® and BlogHer and am happy to share with you a new project that Lysol is working on– the Healthy Habits Program, to bring a healthy awareness about germs to kids.
Lysol has put together its Healthy Habits Bus which is a “Science Museum on Wheels” that is able to go to schools across the country to show kids how germs work (good germs vs. bad germs) and how to practice proper hand washing procedure/sneeze etiquette.
The interactive games onboard the bus include a cool Hand Scanner where kids can put their hands under the scanner and see their hands projected on a screen in front of them – with animated “germs” wriggling all over them.
Kids can then watch a video about germs and watch an “Anatomy of a Sneeze” film before being able to practice proper hand washing right there on the bus. I love interactive school projects like this. I remember getting all excited when I was little when the Brush Mobile would come to school (do they even have those anymore?) or when the Library Lady would come and help us renew all of our library cards so we could check out books at the Book Mobile.
Lysol® is going to have a booth at BlogHer this year and I look forward to checking out the videos they have and learning more about their Healthy Habits Tour Bus.
Host the Lysol® Healthy Habits Bus at Your Child’s School
I’m excited to share this part with you!
Lysol’s Healthy Habits Program wants to offer your child’s school an opportunity to win a $15,000 educational grant, a one year supply of Lysol Disinfecting Wipes and Lysol NoTouch Hand Soap, and to have the Lysol® Healthy Habits Bus come to YOUR school.
To enter your school, please visit Lysol’s webpage and enter the pertinent information.
This contest ends July 31, 2014. I think this is a great way to help raise awareness about healthy habits and hand washing.
My fingers are crossed for you and your school!
Final Thoughts (Does Not Reflect Lysol’s Opinion)
Before I go, I want to bring up Super Germs and the idea that use of disinfectant, hand sanitizer, and overzealous handwashing with antibacterial soap are making us (the human race) resistant to germs and are actually making germs stronger and badder.
I am not a scientist. All I know is that as a mom, my job is to do everything I possibly can to keep my kids happy, safe, healthy, and strong.
My gut, my pediatrician, and my grandma’s teaching tell me that hand washing and germkilling is good.
If I’m wrong, and the germs are in fact getting stronger and badder because of what I’m doing to help keep my kids happy, safe, healthy, and strong, then I’m okay with it. I trust that science will continue to adapt and develop to Kill Germs Dead.
If germs can adapt, so can the scientists. I am not comfortable using my kids as guinea pigs to test out whether or not theories such as Super Germs exist.
All in all, at the end of the day, we are all doing our absolute best to raise our kids the best we can.
You’ll find them over there, in a cloud of Lysol. ;)
What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear them!!
1 basket of clean laundry, unfolded and dumped on the living room floor
1 basket of clean laundry, folded and left on couch
2 “used” baby socks
2 brand-new shoes still bungee corded together
1 too-expensive rolling backpack
45 whole crayons; 3 broken
1 broken blue bead necklace (hanging from the couch cushion)
3 empty Target bags
and when I swivel away from the living space to look at the table:
1 new lunchbox that is supposed to be used FOR SCHOOL ONLY
2 new BPA-free water bottles
1 water bottle ‘cozy’ that came with the lunchbox (completely unnecessary)
random leftover lunch stuff: sliced turkey meat, cut up apples, tortilla chips & hummus
1 abandoned laptop and 3 notebooks
1 very cheeky 19-month-old baby (helping herself to hummus)
106 new gray hairs
I mistakenly thought I could get some work done while the children played peacefully inside or frolicked in delight outside (isn’t that what children are supposed to do? Frolick?) . Yeah. I know.
But you know what? This is real life. Not a glossy magazine. Stuff happens. Mistakes happen.
and it’s okay.
Give yourself a hug—- you’re doing a fantastic job. Already.
School begins for us on September 6th. I loved having everybody home with me for the summer, but I’m done. How are things going with you?
It’s another Wednesday. Chances are, you’re feeling run down and worn out. I’m sorry. Me too. Do a quick speed dust, vacuum, and mop today. Don’t obsess, just get it done—super quick. Delegate to the kids if they’re home. A lot of dust can be erradicated with a carton of baby wipes!
listen to fun music and sing really loud and off-key. just for fun.