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Back to School, Back to Germs?

Sandy Braz

Sandy Braz

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Fitness and lifestyle writer, blogger and editor

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I always smile at the silly TV commercials that appear right around August, you know the ones that picture excited parents, thrilled at the thought of new school year. Moms and dads grinning from ear-to-ear that “back to school” is just around the corner—usually these are commercials for backpacks or notebooks or clothes. But there’s more that comes with “back-to-school” buzz than just some breathing room for mom and dad: germs. They can make the return to school difficult if not dealt with.

Once you’ve talked to your kids about germs, implement some good habits, like the ones listed below, to get in a germ-free state of mind.

Five tips for germ-free kids in the classroom:

  1. Washing hands at home. Making this a habit at home, before and after meals for example, can be helpful for creating a good habit at school, too. Same goes for bathroom breaks—have kids wash their hands after potty breaks at home, in prep for doing the same at school.
  2. Mind your fingers. You likely won’t be able to keep your kids totally “germ-free”, but you can help reduce bacteria-borne illness by reminding children to keep fingers and hands off their faces and out of their mouths.
  3. Be prepared. Along with that apple or probiotic drink , pack individually wrapped anti-bacterial wipes into your little one’s lunch box—easy access to cleanliness is key!
  4. Pet patrol. Sure, they’re a part of the family, but pets can carry germs! Talk to your kids about washing hands after touching pets, whether it’s at home or in the schoolyard.
  5.  Sneeze into your sleeve! A tried-and-tested approach to germ control, teach children that, when they feel a sneeze coming on, reach for a tissue or the nook of an elbow to help trap germs and keep them from spreading.

Back to school doesn’t have to mean back to germs, although, guaranteed, they will be everywhere this Fall. At home or at school, there are ways around it, however; all it takes is a little education outside the classroom.

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