Did you notice a massive incline in the number of colds your family caught once your kids started school? I kid you not; I could count how many times Jacob got sick from age 0-5 on the one hand. Even though he was in preschool, he rarely ever caught a bug. Then he started Kindergarten, and everything changed. He made it through the first two years pretty unscathed. Usually, he got a little cough or sniffle. I was the one that came down with the massive cold. I started referring to him as my little carrier. Around 3rd grade, though, when school got more stressful, he started to come down with colds far more frequently. One year, he missed over a week of school! Of course, whenever he got sick, I got sick too, making the whole household pretty miserable.
It seems like kids and colds are inevitable once they start school. While I don’t think there is any way to prevent our children from ever getting sick completely, there are ways to cut down on the number of bugs they get exposed to (and in turn, expose you too!). Lysol has partnered with the National Education Association (NEA) and National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) to help bring more Healthy Habits into the classroom. Teachers are working hard to reinforce the healthy habits that we teach our kids at home. As parents, it’s our responsibility to support their initiative and make sure we’re doing our part to make things easier on them. Together, we can make a beautiful cycle of healthy habits that flows from home to school and back again. Then maybe, just maybe, we can all get through this cold and flu season relatively unscathed.
How can you support the Healthy Habits program at home?
Lysol has a handy sheet designed for teachers to help them keep the classroom clean and eliminate germs. Reading through it gave me ideas on what I can do as a parent to make it even easier for them to follow these tips.
Learn the classroom rules & reinforce them at home.
Talk to your child’s teachers to find out what they are doing to support Healthy Habits, then follow through at home. Maybe they have a particular song to remind kids to wash their hands or mantra that reminds them to cough into the crook of their elbows.
Don’t contribute to classroom clutter.
One of the tips talks about reducing classroom clutter and getting rid of things that can’t easily be wiped down. We can support this by making sure we’re not sending in a bunch of unnecessary stuff with our kids (i.e.- don’t let them take their stuffed animals to school, make sure they bring their gym clothes home, etc.). Remind your children to clean out their desks and cubbies regularly and bring back old papers or projects, too.
Pack food in sealed containers.
Keep spills (and potential bacterial outbreaks) to a minimum by packing your child’s lunch in sealed containers as often as possible. You may need to remind your child to bring home the containers for a while, but eventually, it will become second nature.
Kill germs at home, so you don’t send them to school with your kids.
Do your part by keeping your child’s schoolbag and other gear clean (that means frequently checking for spills, I’m always shocked at what I find at the bottom of my son’s bag!). You’ll also want to regularly disinfect frequently touched surfaces, like the doorknobs, faucet handles and toilet seats and the toilet flushy thing (what is that thing called?). Did you know that a Global Hygiene Council study found that while most people think the toilet seat is the nastiest thing in their bathroom, it’s actually that flushy thing? You can read more about that, along with other tips for keeping germs at bay in your home, in Lysol’s A Family Guide to Good Hygiene in the Home handout.
Donate cleaning supplies to the classroom.
When you find a good sale on Lysol products, grab a few extras to donate to the classroom. Teachers often have to buy these things out of their own pocket, so it’s a huge help when parents pitch in. My family uses Lysol Wipes like crazy at home. I often buy them in bulk, making it easy to send a container in with my son. BONUS: Lysol Wipes have Box Tops for Education on them, making them go even further! Make sure you clip them off your own containers at home and send them to your child’s school! Speaking of Box Tops for Education, in addition to the regular Box Tops that you’ll find on a myriad of Lysol products, you can also earn even more valuable Box Tops for your child’s school. Now through 5/31/17, buy two participating Lysol or Finish Box Tops for Education Products in a single transaction, and you’ll earn 20 eBoxTops. Visit the Lysol Box Tops website to find participating products and get the details about how to upload (or mail) your receipt and make sure your school gets credited.
Head over to Lysol’s Healthy Classrooms website to learn more about how you can reinforce Healthy Habits at home. If you’re a teacher, you’ll also find some fabulous guides to help cut down on germs in your classroom.
What do you do at home to reinforce your schools Healthy Habits? Share in the comments!