Tips for Avoiding Back to School Germs

As Covid-19 continues to spread, many parents are wrestling with the decision of sending their kids back to school for in-person instruction or choosing the virtual option that most school systems are offering on some level. In addition to worrying about what germs they might pick up this year, we now have to be more diligent about the germs they bring home since children can bring viruses like COVID-19 home before they show any signs of illness. This can be dangerous should children come in contact with immune-compromised or elderly members of the family.

One way to protect your home from any form of the virus is to create a distinct set of barriers that make it harder for the virus to enter the home and spread, according to Dr. Brent Laartz, infectious disease expert and author of Protect Yourself: From Ebola to Zika.

Parents can create at-home checkpoints to keep diseases from getting into the house in the first place.

Consider collecting their screens before they enter the house, as well as backpacks, folders and lunch boxes. Take a cue from hospitals and point them to one entry into the home. Have your kids wash hands when they come in, or set up a little sanitizing station with some hand sanitizer and wipes to wipe down all of these items and their hands. Often times phones and ipads can carry more bacteria than the bottoms of their shoes. In this same space, have kids remove shoes and put all items aside that are often touched and travel between home and school. It will help keep viruses from sneaking in on overlooked items, and reinforces a household philosophy of cleanliness.

There will always be a chance that a virus can slip through any of the precautions you have in place, if that happens try quarantining the sick individuals to a single area as much as is feasible with kids as well as regularly wipe downs of all the shared objects that are commonly touched in the home, including remotes, devices, computers, and game controllers. There should also be extra attention paid to bathrooms.

In the end it’s best to be more mindful than ever how germs can enter your home. A good rule of thumb is to to pay close attention to all of the objects they handle regularly. We all know tiny humans struggle with their hygiene habits, but hopefully with some constant reminders and a little diligent, you can keep your house healthy this school year.

Stanley Steemer of North Central Alabama services the greater Birmingham Metro Area and surrounding counties, spanning from Cullman to Clanton and from the Mississippi state line to the Georgia state line.


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