Parents everywhere, rejoice! It’s back-to-school time. You’ve been working hard to give your kids an enriching summer break, and now you’ve made it to the finish line. Your children made it through an entire season of outdoor play while staying healthy and happy. Congratulations.
Back-to-school time is good for kids and parents alike—kids form lasting friendships and learn what the world is all about, and moms and dads have a little peace and quiet to get their work done—but it can be also be a challenge. It isn’t easy to maintain a healthy routine now that your little ones will be exposed to a whole new slew of schoolyard germs, but there are some steps you can take to protect them from illness. Follow these tips and tricks to keep your kiddos healthy throughout the upcoming school year.
1. Teach kids to wash their hands like a pro
Sure your school-age daughter knows how to wash her hands, right? She’s been doing it for years. Well, common sense says the beginning of a new school year is the perfect time for a refresher course. Make sure she uses a generous amount of soap and warm water and that she scrubs between fingers and beneath her nails.
Do you know the most common hand-washing mistake among kids and adults? Not washing long enough. The CDC recommends washing hands for at least 20 seconds to effectively nix germs. A good way for kids to time themselves is to sing happy birthday (aloud or to themselves) from start to finish twice.
2. Keep snacks separated
After-school sports are a great place for kids to build camaraderie and confidence. The drawback is that it’s also a great place for kids to swap germs. Instead of letting your daughter dig her hand into the communal bag of snack mix, pack her own treats in a separate plastic baggie. Bonus: it may be extra work, but this way you can make sure she eats a clean, healthy treat.
3. Give her a personalized water bottle
Drinking plenty of liquids is essential to maintaining good health and a strong immune system. That’s why it’s such a bummer that school water fountains are usually teeming with cooties. At the start of the school year, present your daughter with her own reusable water bottle that she can keep with her at school. Glass and metal bottles are both good choices. She’ll avoid sharing mouthpieces and stay hydrated: win-win.
4. If all else fails, you’ve still got an ace in the hole: hand sanitizer she’ll be excited to use
Your daughter can’t carry soap and water in her backpack. And let's face it, she probably won’t remember to use the boring stuff you bought from the drug store last year. Townleygirl has an ingenious solution for making germ prevention a habit: a line of hand sanitizers made just for little girls. These pretty hand sanitizers currently come in four styles, from princess pink with berry scent to raspberry purple, and they can be clipped to a school bag or lunch box.
These sweet little bottles of sanitizer walk the line between hygienic product and cute accessory. Not only will your daughter want to carry one with her throughout the day, she’ll be excited to use it.