With the help of the Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (or APIC), forgo the trip to the nurse during recess by reading these friendly few tips for battling bacterial bullies!
Your student isn’t the only one with homework this fall! Pull out your notebooks and sharpen your # 2’s because there will be plenty of notes to take as you read how to get spic-n-span in time for the school year!
Circle-circle dot-dot, now you’ve got your cootie shot! If only preventing infectious disease were as easy as playground folklore. Alas, with back-to-school time comes the increased risk of spreading a multitude of germs that can make your student (and yourself) sick! So, with the help of the Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (or APIC), forgo the trip to the nurse during recess by reading these friendly few tips for battling bacterial bullies!
Soap and water: your hands best friend! (and a germs worst nightmare!)
It’s as easy as A-B-C, 1-2-3! Nearly 80% of infectious disease is spread by human contact (read: hand-to-hand contact). Think about that next time little Johnny tells you about the high-five record he set in lunch today, or the game of freeze-tag he totally dominated in Phys. Ed. Reminding your school-goers to wash their hands with warm soap and water for 15 to 20 seconds will greatly eliminate bacterial presence.
And one extra special word to the wise – drying your hands with a towel will eliminate an additional 24% of remaining bacteria while using a heat-releasing-machine increases presence by 12%!
“High Touch” can mean “Bad Touch”
If homework has taught any of us anything, it’s that with practice comes perfection (or so we hope!). The more you clean or disinfect commonly touched (or “High Touch”) areas of your home — doorknobs, counter space in the kitchen or bathrooms, handles or lids to storage space, the less likely you’ll have a rapidly reproducing germ farm on the surfaces and residents of your abode. This might also include backpacks or school supplies that are transported or shared in school settings.
Two for the price of one
Having your child keep their room nice and tidy will not only make their space look more presentable (and more conducive to studying), but it will eliminate the places where dirt, dust, and debris can gather. For a homemade approach (‘Show-and-Tell’ fodder, anyone?!), use fresh lemon juice, water, and baking soda. These three ingredients can freshen almost everything and yield a scent that overpowers any athletic shoe! Also be on the look-out for…
- Microfiber Cloths (for general and intricate dusting)
- Microfiber Dust Mop and/or
- Vacuum Cleaner Dusting Attachment (for high ceilings, walls, corners)
- Dusting Spray and/or
- Furniture Polish
Mold has got to go!
Be it by way of Phys. Ed., a sports team, or a trip to the gym, chances are your student will be working up a sweat at one point or another during the school year. With the benefits of good ole calisthenics, however, come the dangers of mold! This pesky bacterial breeding ground thrives off dark, damp, (and often times sweaty) surfaces – the more consistent a surface or material is in its ‘wetness’, so to speak, the more likely mold is to pop up. Do your budding athlete, and yourself, a favor by washing their uniforms as needed, giving their gym bags a quick rinse and proper dry weekly, and possibly replacing the soles of their athletic shoes monthly (most cases, however, the end of the season will suffice). By keeping fresh and clean (read: dry, fresh, and clean), you’ll have more time to focus on that post-practice carpool you forgot you signed up for — not skin irritation, fungal infections, and respiratory illness!
You wouldn’t prepare school lunches on a dirty counter, so why store the ingredients in a dirty fridge? Use the new school year as an excuse to toss out the expired goods and to give the shelves a good (preferably natural — soap and water/ water and vinegar work just fine!) scrub down.
Not only will this free up and clean up space, but it will also dramatically lower your chances of contracting food borne illness. Sure you know that physically ingesting contaminated food may make you ill, but so can breathing in the spores of that food each and every time you open the fridge — not to mention placing fresh foods next to contaminated ones also raises the possibility of cross-contamination.
There you have it — A crash course in the benefits of proper home and lifestyle cleaning at the start of a new school year. As always, try and use as many safe and cleaning solutions as possible! Continue to study hard: A pop-quiz is fair game!