Tis the season for back to school. And sickness. I can already see my Facebook feed stacking up with sick kids and illness striking down whole families. One poor mom I know just got rid of a stomach virus plaguing her kids only to have strep throat take its place the very next week! Besides the influx of cool air and flu season, kids coming together at school and sharing germs is making us sick! I’ve covered what you should have in your medicine cabinet for babies and toddlers as well as what immediate action you can take when your child becomes sick, but this post is all about how to keep germs at school and not let them follow you home! Of course, you can’t stay well all of the time (the odds are against us!!), but you can certainly stay healthier with these tips. I’m sure you already do some of these everyday, but combine them all to battle germs with the power of wonder woman!
Wash Hands During School Pickup
Before you even leave the school with your child, wash their hands! Keep those germs at school and don’t even let them into the car or onto your neck with a hug!
Keep Hand Wipes in the Car
You know that little stash of diapers, baby wipes, snacks or clothes that you have in the car? Put it to everyday use! If you can’t get your kids to wash their hands as they leave school, this is the next best thing. Snag some hand wipes (or even just use those handy baby wipes) to clean hands and faces as your kids get into the car. Clean boogery noses, muddy playground hands or leftover lunch faces. Head off those school germs before they enter your car!
Change School Clothes
If your child attends a school that requires uniforms, this is the perfect opportunity to let them settle into play clothes or something more comfortable. Public school children might like to come home and sport a favorite T-shirt. Either way, it helps to get those school germs into the hamper or wash and off your child! Try leaving shoes at the door, too, so you’re not tracking dirt and germs through your house.
School Sneakers Only
Speaking of shoes, try having an exclusive pair for school. Hit up sales, consignment, etc., so your child might have a pair of closed toed shoes to wear at school alone. This can cut down on germs at home, too!
Wash Linens Often
Just like when your child is sick, it’s a good idea to wash bath towels often, at least once a week. Kitchen hand towels should be changed out daily, and if there are washcloths that get used often, change those out daily, as well. Bedsheets need to be on a schedule that fits your lifestyle – if you go to bed without showering, step up the schedule. Those that shower or bathe before bed can go a little longer.
Wash The Backpack, Too
And while you’re at it, wash that backpack! Many backpacks are machine washable, (I used to wash my Jansport all the time!) and if you’ve ever dug into a backpack after the first few months of school, you’ll find all sorts of trash, grime and grub. Not to mention the bottoms of backpacks that touch the floor of the bus, classroom and then your house…. Seriously, wash that sucker. Your health will thank you!
Rinse Lunch Boxes
We all put the tupper ware and bento boxes in the dishwasher after use, but you should think about throwing the lunchbox in there, too. If you are worried about your characters peeling off the face from the heat of the dishwasher, at least wipe the lunchbox down with a soapy sponge and hot water before letting it dry on the counter. Don’t give bacteria or old foodstuffs a chance to grow and contaminate your kids.
What other tips do you have to keep germs from following you home from school?