The kids are back to school and those long lazy days of summer are the stuff of memories. With the flu season approaching, one important lesson students, teachers, and parents alike should learn this year is how to reduce the spread of germs in the classroom.
The Seventh Generation Back-to-School Survey uncovered the concerns of parents and teachers of children in grades K-5:
- Four in five parents (82 percent) polled admit to worrying about the germs in their kids' classrooms. In fact, parents of children in this age group worry just as much about them bringing home germs (50 percent) as they do about them bringing home a less-than-perfect report card (50 percent).
- K-5 teachers revealed that in an average week, they clean the tops of their students' desks and use disinfecting products on high-contact areas, such as doorknobs, at least once a day. Many teachers ask parents to donate germ-fighting products at the beginning of the school year, with 60 percent specifically requesting disinfecting wipes.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 22 million school days are lost annually due to the common cold, with the average child contracting 6.5 colds a year. To help reduce those numbers keep these tips in mind:
- Reap the benefits of probiotics like those found in yogurt. A recent study showed that children who received enough probiotics daily throughout the cold and flu season had a significant reduction in the number of illnesses they had and, when they did get sick, the symptoms were milder and didn't last as long.
- Be sure your child is getting plenty of vitamin D from the sun, from food, or from a supplement.
- Build a strong foundation. Good food, good sleep, and good physical activity all help the immune system to flourish.
- Teach children the key times to clean their hands in the classroom. The most important times include after sneezing, coughing or using the restroom, upon leaving "high-risk" places (recess, naptime, play stations) and before meals or snacks.
- Stress the importance of not touching their eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Donate disinfecting wipes to the classroom. Seventh Generation's disinfecting wipes are Powered By CleanWell™ and kill 99.99% of germs naturally, with no rinsing required – even on food preparation surfaces.
- Demonstrate to your children how to cover their mouth and nose for every cough and sneeze. This simple maneuver has spectacular results in decreasing the spread of viruses and bacteria floating about the room, waiting to be inhaled.
- Watch a short video and learn as Seventh Generation explains the very interesting history of germs and disinfectants! Great history lesson for kids and the classroom!