Back to School signifies a time of year that parents look forward to and dread at the same time.  Shopping lists may include all the usual supplies such as pencils, pens, and notebooks, but can also mean stocking up on cough medicine, chicken soup, and tissues.

It’s dubbed the “Back-to-School Plague” for a reason. Germs are found in schools and daycares on commonly touched surfaces such as desks, door handles, and water fountains and especially these top germ hot spots. Some viruses can live on a surface up to 48 hours, and some bacteria can exist on a surface for months! Coupled with the fact that kids are notorious for not washing their hands, cold and flu germs can spread like wildfire throughout a school. No wonder elementary-age children can get sick up to 8-10 times a school year.

Prevention is the key to help protect your children from the risk of illness. This simple Germ Survival Kit, along with a little education, may keep your child in school learning instead of home sick:

    1. Hand sanitizer
      Clip a bottle to the outside or inside of your child’s backpack. Best to use if they are unable to wash their hands right away, such as before and after using a shared computer keyboard & mouse.
    1. Travel pack of disinfectant wipes
      Tuck these in their backpack and leave a sweet note in their lunchbox reminding them to wipe down their desk or table before eating. Disinfectant wipes are useful and could stop bacteria from infecting your little one.
    1. Pocket-pack of tissues
      Good to capture germs that result from coughs, sniffles, sneezes, or runny noses, as long as they’re disposed of properly. Teaching kids to use a tissue to wipe their nose, instead of their hand, may help keep those germs from traveling through the classroom.

The best possible defense from kids getting sick is quite simple: good hygienic habits. Instructing children to wash their hands often, especially after using the bathroom and before and after eating can help prevent them from getting (or giving) a virus. They learn best by example, so make it a family affair.

What else can you do? Ask your child’s school how they clean hot spots. Their answer can tell you a lot about how they handle hygiene. Ideally, they wipe down these surfaces throughout the day and have a janitorial service that is focused on cleaning to help prevent the spread of germs, such as the Coverall Health-Based Cleaning System® Program, which kills and removes germs and helps eliminate cross-contamination to reduce the threat of illness. Learn more about the Coverall® Program for your school, daycare or learning center.

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