As children and adults head back into fall school and work schedules,
keeping a healthy home and family can become more challenging. According
to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Health Statistics, the two
primary reasons for work absences are a worker’s own illness or that of a
one-third of parents of young children surveyed are concerned about
losing jobs or losing pay to take off work to care for their sick
children, according to a study by the University of Michigan C.S. Mott
“Seasonal illnesses brought home from
school affect parents and even grandparents as much as they do the
children,” says Ann Bobbitt, owner of Maid Brigade of Northern
Connecticut. “Preventative action can make the difference in keeping a
healthy home, even when outside forces are battling against you.”
green clean experts at Maid Brigade share the following tips to help
you combat back to school germs and the seasonal illnesses that come
AT HOME Prepare lunch on disinfected surfaces :
Cracks and crevices in your cutting board or even your counter can
harbor more bacteria than the average toilet seat! Use separate cutting
boards for different foods and disinfect them regularly.
multi-tasking while cooking : Doing the laundry, for example, while
getting the kids lunches ready can transfer dirt (and worse) from your
clothes into the lunchbox if hand washing between tasks is overlooked.
Clean backpacks and lunchboxes: Clean out backpacks regularly
and wash them at least once a week. Thoroughly clean the inside and
outside of lunchboxes daily before putting away or repacking. And pack
lunches and snacks in sealed containers instead of loose in backpacks.
AT SCHOOL Boycott
germs: Provide your child with a reusable water bottle to take to
school and although it may be a long shot, some sanitary wipes to wipe
the lunch tray, lunch table, or other surfaces. According to a study of
germs in schools water fountains and plastic cafeteria trays are germ
Don't Share: You’ve been telling them to be good
sharers since they were born, but school is one of the worst places to
share food, drinks, ear buds, or sports equipment. In the classroom,
there may be books and other items that they will have to share, but
remind them to wash their hands after such activities.
backpacks, purses, and jackets in the restroom : Avoid setting down any
personal items on bathroom floors. This is a good rule for anyone of any
age. When that item returns to the house and is placed on the kitchen
table, you can only imagine the amount of bacteria that comes with it!
your hands: All ages. All places. Wash your hands regularly and
thoroughly with soap and water, particularly before eating anything.
Getting between fingers and around fingernails is important. Philip
Tierno, PhD, author of The Secret Life of Germs, says that in one study
of middle and high school students, only about half washed their hands
after using the bathroom and only 33 percent of the girls and 8 percent
of the boys used soap.
He also cites other studies that show
that "people who wash hands seven times a day have about 40 percent
fewer colds than the average person."
For more green cleaning and healthy lifestyle tips check out the Maid Brigade Germs Infographic at www.maidbrigade.com/germs