As much as we would all love to bubble wrap our kids like the Michelin Man before leaving our houses, we cannot protect them from everything. They are going to fall and hurt themselves. They are also going to pick up unwanted germs from the other school children. It is inevitable, but there ways to prevent germs from entering your home and infecting the entire household. Here are some parent-approved ways to stop the spread of germs and keep them out of your home.
- Keep disinfectant spray in the Front Hallway/Entryway – When your children come home and walk through the front door of your home, one of the first things they are going to do is dump their backpacks, coats, and shoes to the side. Does this sound familiar? As much as we all would love it if our kids cleaned up after themselves the reality is it often does not happen like a Leave It To Beaver episode. We, as parents, need to constantly remind our children to clean up. By keeping the disinfectant spray next to the front door we can a least make it easier for our children to follow our commands and eliminate germs at the point of entry. Teach your children to spray down their backpacks, shoes (in particular the bottom soles) and coats. Remember this is your only chance to stop the spread of germs before your active kids scatter in all directions throughout your house touching everything.
- Wash hands frequently–Persistently remind your children to wash their hands with soap. Some wise parents keep a bottle of antibacterial hand gel on the front hall entry table next to the disinfectant spray to again combat the germs from getting past their front hallway. Of course, some kids are more disciplined than others. Constant reminders may be in order.
- Sanitize down all door knobs and light switches. We rarely think about it, but the best places for germs to spread from one person to another is on highly touched surfaces like the light switch, faucet handles, and door knobs. The TV remote control is another hot spot for germs.
- Assign each family member with a different color cup. Germs can easily spread between people who swap saliva. Kids can spread colds to their buddies or siblings by accidentally sharing the same drinking glass while sick. By differentiating the cups by color, each child will then know which cup is theirs and avoid accidentally drinking from the sick child’s cup.
- Wash clothes and bed linens weekly. It goes without saying that clothes and bed linens can be just as germ infested as their backpacks. To keep germs at bay and prevent them from spreading, clothes and linens need to be washed at least weekly. And don’t forget their favorite stuffed animal or blanket that they bring everywhere with them! Definitely wash those favorites.