Have your children or grandchildren started back to school yet? My kids have less than one week to go before they are back to school. I still can’t believe that summer if over. It seems like only yesterday we were watching Forth of July fireworks.
When I think about the kids going back to school I think about Autumn. That is my most favorite season. Not only do I love the cool weather and beautiful colors it’s also the start to the holiday season (Halloween, Thanksgiving…).
When I think about Autumn I also think about the cold weather and how it will soon be here as well. I hate being cooped up inside and unable to open up the windows for fresh air. When I think about being “trapped” inside I think about catching colds and getting sick. That is my LEAST favorite part of the cooler weather. It is possible to catch a cold year round, it just seems like it happens more frequently during the colder months when children and adults are stuck inside.
I taught my kids from a very young age that it’s important to wash your hands frequently. Even if you don’t think your hands or dirty, or even if they look clean, you should take a few moments out of your day from time to time to wash your hands. EVERYTHING you touch has the potential to carry germs and harmful bacteria that can make you really sick.
I used to cringe every time I would take my kids to the peditrician’s office. They toys and books available to children in the office were a haven for germs and who knows what else. I would watch little children sneeze on the toys or wipe their runny noses with their hands and then touch books. That is why whenever my kids had to go to the doctor, whether they were sick or just there for a routine check up, I always made sure to take along their own toys and books. That way I knew what they were touching was relatively clean and safe for them to touch. It’s something to consider the next time you have to take your child to the doctor’s office. Unless you know for a fact the office cleans and sanitizes books and toys frequently, in which case I suppose it’s OK.
Speaking of bringing along your own toys and books you might also want to consider taking your own book or magazine to read rather than rely on the ones found in the doctor’s office. Adults can be just as bad as children when it comes to washing their hands. When you pick up a magazine in the doctor’s office (or any type of waiting room) you are touching a surface that dozens of other people have touched too. Imagine all the people who sneezed in their hands, or worst, didn’t wash their hands after using the restroom. Do you REALLY want to read a magazine knowing that? I sure don’t. That is why I like to bring along my Kindle Fire or cell phone. That way I have something to read to occupy my time.
Classrooms are one of the biggest culprits when it comes to germs. Children sneeze on desks and classroom supplies. If you have a younger child where toys are found in the classroom, they can also harbor a lot of germs. That is why it’s vital for you to teach your children to wash their hands frequently and not to put their hands in their mouths or near their eyes and nose. You must also teach children to use soap and warm water and to wash their hands for at least a minute. Often children will simply rinse their hands under cold water. That does NOTHING to help kill germs. If anything it’s like giving germs a “cold shower”.
When my kids were younger I told them to put soap on their hands and rub them together while singing the “Happy Birthday” song at least twice to themselves, or sing the Alphabet. That help to ensure that they were washing their hands in soap long enough to be effective.
I found some musical soap pumps when my kids were younger too. When you pressed on the pump to release the soap it would play a tune. Ideally your child is supposed to wash their hands the entire length of the song that played. I think that is a fun way to encourage children to wash their hands. Fun soaps in different colors and scents is also a great way to encourage children to wash their hands.
Along with proper hand washing techniques and doing simple things to avoid exposure to germs (like bringing your own toys or books to entertain your child in a waiting room), good nutrition is also equally important. It’s important to eat right, exercise and get enough sleep to keep your immune system functioning in tip top shape. Unhealthy people tend to catch more colds and other illnesses compared to those who eat right, exercise and get an ample amount of sleep.
In the event you do not have access to soap to wash your hands, a hand sanitizer such as Purell Hand Sanitizer is a great option. I keep one in the glove compartment in my car (and my husband’s car), in my purse, around the home and even small portable ones in my kid’s book bags. That way they can make sure their hands can be germ free in the event they are unable to wash their hand properly with soap and warm water.
Even the gym equipment your child uses at school and classroom equipment can be covered in germs. My kids are in High School and Junior High. They have to change classroom each period. Sometimes they are unable to get to the bathroom in between classes so having a Purell Hand Sanitizer in their backpack is a huge help. They can use the gel to kill any germs that might be on their hands after using the gym equipment or items around the classroom such as a pencil sharpener or science lab equipment.
Some teachers even include Purell Hand Sanitizer as part of the back to school supplies students need for school. When my kids were in elementary school I used to donate the larger bottles of Purell Hand Sanitizer to each of my children’s classrooms.
I know that every little bit helps when it comes to saving money, most especially during the back to school season when parents have to spend a small fortune on supplies. You can save $1.00 on a bottle of Purell (8 ounces or larger) with FREE printable coupons found at the Purell widget. You can see the widget here —-> or just look at the lower right side bar.
While you are there make sure to check out the tips for fighting germs and staying well. You can also find product information and where to buy locations (retail stores and online). You can also visit Purell directly at www.Purell.com. Purell is also on Twitter (@Purell) and Facebook (www.Facebook.com/Purell).
You can also check out other great back to school tips on Twitter by following the hashtag #PurellBTS. If you have any great tips to help your children or grandchildren stay healthy this back to school season feel free to leave a comment on this post or tweet it on Twitter (don’t forget to include the hashtag so others can read your tips).
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*I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Purell Hand Sanitizer blogging program, to earn My SocialMoms Rewards Points. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.