Beat the Back to School Bugs

Children have returned to school.

It doesn’t feel quite real yet, does it?

For the first time since 2019, children are getting the chance to socialise freely with their friends and classmates at school. And, at the same time, parents working from home will be able to focus with far less distractions!

Many of us have longed for this moment but (mostly because we’ve not done it in so long!) it’s easy to overlook the usual trials and tribulations that the return to school can mean.

From suddenly realising their school uniform no longer fits, to diarising various after-school clubs and catering for three different dietary habits in those packed lunches, there’s a lot going on. 

But, you guessed it – we’re talking about those post-holiday germs children can’t help but spread to each other, which are going to come back with a vengeance.

And while usually parents take this inevitability in their stride, this year we know it’s natural to feel a little more apprehensive about children catching bugs.

Perhaps the best way to reassure yourself, and your children, about this is to be as prepared as you can be to ensure your children keep up the good hygiene habits they’ve learnt over the last 18 months while they’ve been at home. 

Wondering quite how to do that? We’ve put together some tips and tricks to add to your back-to-school routine that will help you rest easy while your kids go back to doing what they do best – playing with other children!

And as always, part of being a parent is letting your children grow up and take responsibility. All you can ever really do is pack everything they might need in their rucksacks and teach them some wise lessons before they head off to school! The same applies to hygiene…

 

  • Pack the correct products!
    Maintaining good personal hygiene is much more difficult when children are out and about, so it’s crucial they have the right products to remind them what to do.

    You won’t be there to wipe their hands down for them, so make sure they know when they should be using what product, and why. It’s important to do this in a way that ensures they still feel confident meeting and playing with friends, but still explains why hygiene is so important now.

    • Hand sanitiser – We all know children hate washing their hands at the best of times, so hand-sanitiser provides them with an easy option that is quicker (and more fun!), so they’ll likely be keen to use sanitiser even more regularly than soap and water

       

    • Anti-bacterial wipes – Always a number 1 item on a parent’s packing list, it’s worth including them on your children’s packing list as well and encouraging them to wipe down desks, tables and lockers before they use them

       

    • Face masks – While not compulsory in schools, there might be some circumstances when your child wants that extra bit of protection. Alternatively, if your child is over 11 then face masks will be required on public transport for school trips, so make sure your child is never without a fresh mask when they leave the house
  • Hand washing
    You might have had a chart up in your bathroom at home to remind your child how to do this thoroughly. Your school should have one, but if not make sure your child knows the routine by heart before they set off! There are lots of ways to make this fun, like singing a song that lasts 20 seconds to make sure they’ve washed their hands for long enough.
  • Etiquette
    Remember your children won’t have socialised properly in a while, particularly in a formal setting, so it’s worth reminding them of what to do when they sneeze or cough, making sure they catch it in a tissue or sneeze into their elbow.

  • When they get home
    To encourage children to keep up these habits it’s important to ask them how they got on when they come home from school. As all parents know, just telling children something once won’t make it stick! Think of fun ways to get them to demonstrate how they’ve been washing their hands to you or offer incentives like a sweet treat every time you see them catching their sneeze!

And that’s about all you can really do! Now sit back, relax and hand the control over to them…

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