How to avoid the “Back-To-School Plague”

The end of the summer holidays can be a bitter-sweet time for parents. On the one hand, they will soon no longer have a house-full of kids to endlessly entertain but, on the other, supplying their off-spring with everything they need for a new school year can be a costly business.

In a survey by Nationwide Building Society last week, they estimate that parents are on average spending nearly £175 on uniforms and equipment for the upcoming school year.

Shopping lists may include all the usual supplies such as new shoes, pencils, pens and notebooks, but can also mean stocking up on cough medicine, chicken soup, and tissues.

It’s dubbed the “Back-to-School Plague” for a good reason. Kids are notorious for not washing their hands and if a school or nursery is not cleaned and sanitised properly,  cold and flu germs can spread like wildfire. No wonder primary school children can fall sick up to 10 times a year.

The best possible defence against getting sick is quite simple: good hygienic habits. Instructing children to wash their hands often, especially after using the bathroom and before and after eating can help prevent them from getting (or giving) a virus. Also, having the right cleaning team throughout the school will prevent outbreaks like Norovirus. Selecting the cleaning team may be beyond your control as a parent, but educating your kids on hand hygiene is not.

We know you don’t want to have to splash out on more back-to-school kit, but if you want to reduce the chances of your kids, and therefore you, falling ill, you may wish to invest in the following:

  1. Pocket-pack of tissues
    An invaluable tool against colds, using tissues captures germs that result from coughs, sniffles, sneezes, or runny noses, as long as they’re disposed of properly. Teaching kids to use a tissue to wipe their nose, instead of their hand, may help keep those germs from travelling through the classroom.
  2. Hand sanitiser
    Clip a bottle to the outside or inside of your child’s backpack. Best to use if they are unable to wash their hands right away, such as before and after using a shared computer keyboard & mouse.
  3. Travel pack of disinfectant wipes
    Tuck these in their backpack and leave a note in their lunchbox reminding them to wipe down their desk or table before eating. Disinfectant wipes, although distinctly uncool,  are useful and could stop bacteria from infecting your little one.

If you are concerned about the standards of cleanliness at your children’s school, make sure you raise it with the headteacher or other relevant person within the school. With education budgets being squeezed, cleaning can sometimes take a hit, but as we all know, preserving the well-being of children and teachers alike at school should be the number one priority, as well as mitigating the damage sickness absence of pupils and staff has on learning.

For more information on how to reduce the chances of falling sick this autumn, or how we provide specialist cleaning services to schools in Bristol and Bath, call us on 0800 4488026.