3 Tips for Parents to Help Kids Stay Safe in the Classroom

Back to school is a happy time for both children and parents. Although a happy time, it can also be an anxious time during normal circumstances. Throw a 4th wave of the pandemic, with a highly contagious variant like Delta, and well, we are not surprised to hear that parents and kids are a little nervous about the start of the school year.

We put together a few of best infection prevention and control tips to help get prepared for the new school year, feel less anxious, and let the kids go back with confidence.


The school boards around the country have been working to put together protocols, plans, and improve classrooms to help slow the spread. We are well into the pandemic and 4th wave, and now know the best protection we have for those unvaccinated (especially those most vulnerable like our under 12 kids) is to #maskup, improve our #handhygiene, and maintain cleaning and disinfection for #hightouchsurfaces in public areas.


First, let's talk masks.


Masks Save Lives 😷

Masks have been a critical tool to help slow the spread and prevent infection. For the first 12 months of the pandemic it was our only line of defence. Now that we have a vaccine available, masks still continue to do their job and protect those that are not yet eligible for the vaccine, such as many of our kids heading back to school.


Masks are great, and we have written a few blogs on the importance of selecting a mask that not only fits properly (you want a nice fitted mask without gaps to ensure that you are protected) but also that it can do the job you need it too. We spent over 6 months reviewing masks and selecting the ones we KNOW are up for the job. Level III Medical Grade and our Nano Masks provide the best protection for our everyday lives. They are comfortable and easy to wear for long periods of time, and for kids, easy to put on and take off properly.


A few things to look for in a mask:

  • Not all masks are made equally. Quality, protection, fit can all differ from mask to mask. Do your homework and research the best fit for your child's needs.

  • Does your child need or want a mask that has loops? Ties? How easy is it for them to put on and take off?

  • Does your child wear glasses and require an anti-fog film, foam strip, or tape strip to help reduce glasses from fogging up?

  • How important is comfort and breathability?

  • What kind of fit does your child need? Gaps are bad - a gap allows particles (and potentially germs) to enter and exit the mask. This may increase the risk of infection. The mask should have a tight seal around your face and not allow for gaps or openings against the face, especially your nose and mouth... they should always be covered.

  • Are you looking for a disposable mask that is worn once and discarded after each use? Or looking for a solution that can be reused a few times with confidence?

For more information on each of these, you can read our previous mask blog. Still have questions? Send us a note and our team would be happy to help!


TB Clift Tip: Teach your kiddos the proper way to put on and take off their masks. Have them practice a few times with you (especially the little ones) to help minimize the risk of infection when handling their masks.


BONUS TIP: Making it a fun family game can win them over - one of our favourites is our spin on the Floor is Lava. Instead we play "Avengers Assemble!" where when we say that we have 5 seconds to properly put on our superhero masks and get ready to protect ourselves and the world from the evil virus. The kids love it, they are more eager to listen, and it makes them feel like they are making a difference and saving the world. And you know what? The truth is they ARE making a difference, and they ARE saving the world by helping to slow the spread. We think that is pretty awesome.


What Mask would we recommend?


We love our Nano-Fiber Face Masks. They fit kids well, allow for improved breathability and air flow to help feel more comfortable wearing the mask all day, and can be reused up to 3-5 days. We do recommend to change the masks when visibly soiled or dirty. PS - they are also great for sports because of their improved breathability! Hockey, basketball, soccer, golf, indoors, outdoors, you name it, it is a great all around mask.


Shop for yours today! 👇


 

Ok, now that we talked masks, let's talk hands.


Hand Hygiene Saves Lives 🧼🖐

The schools have done a great job over the past year to implement more focus on education of hand hygiene. This will serve our kids great not only for now during the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic, but each year with back to school and cold and flu season. Hand Hygiene can help reduce and slow the spread of all germs. I am always grossed out by how many people pre-pandemic would use a public washroom and not wash their hands. 🤢


🧴💧🤲 Washing hands is ALWAYS the most important and preferred method. BUT we know that water and soap are not always accessible. Having a great hand sanitizer as back up is always important. We have several we keep in our car, bag, desk, and anywhere that is easily accessible.


When it comes to hand sanitizers, It's Know How, Not No How... When looking for a hand sanitizer, please check to see if it has an Natural Product Number (NPN) on the container. If that NPN is there, the product has been approved for use in Canada.


TB Clift Tip: Your hands have to be wet to be sanitized. What does this mean? Well, hand sanitizers require contact time (the amount of time your hands MUST remain wet in order to achieve sanitization.) Reading the labels of your hand sanitizer are important to make sure it it approved for use (see comment above ☝️) AND to know how long the product must remain wet to work. Many hand sanitizers are 30 seconds. So just like washing your hands, time is important.



BONUS TIP: Teach the Kiddos how to apply Hand Sanitizer properly. Teach them about how to apply, and how long. It's not enough to simply rub your palms together until your hands are dry. Think in terms of all the surfaces on your hands. Your palms, back of your hands, fingers, including the tips and between your fingers. Make it a game, create a hand washing / sanitizing song that will help them achieve proper hand hygiene.


PS - Don’t forget those thumbs! Your goal here is not to enter the Guinness Book of World Records for speed hand sanitizing!! It is to perform hand sanitization for the sake of reducing your risk of disease.


For more information, you can read our previous Hand Sanitizer Blog. Still have questions? Send us a note and our team would be happy to help!


What Hand Sanitizer do we recommend?


We found Kalaya Hand Sanitizers to be the best out there. Made in Canada, developed in Quebec, manufactured in Ontario, these sanitizers not only deliver high quality protection in 30 seconds, but they also prevent your skin from drying out. Great for little hands that are constantly getting dirty and being washed. They are also trusted by healthcare professionals who use sanitizers several times a day in high risk settings. We know they deliver on efficacy and safety. AND they have a variety of sizes from desk size to pocket size.


Shop for yours today! 👇


 

Last but certainly not least... surfaces.


Cleaning and Disinfecting High Touch Surfaces Helps Reduce the Spread of Germs 🚫🤧🦠

We know that the main spread of COVID is not on surfaces, and that masking, hand hygiene and social distancing are the BEST methods to slow the spread. But maintaining clean high touch surfaces are important to help prevent spread in public places is important. As we continue to battle more contagious and easily spread variants of COVID, we must continue to practice good cleaning and disinfection, especially for kids going back to school where they will be eating together and in closer contact with larger groups.


Knowing the difference between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting is also very important for not only parents, staff, teachers to know, but also it is important to teach our kids. #knowledgeIsPower


What are high touch surfaces? High touch surfaces are surfaces are commonly touched surfaces that require more cleaning and disinfection than other surfaces. Think of a door handle vs the top of a shelf. Door handles are constantly being touched, whereas a shelf... not so much. Check out our reel that talks to the most common missed surfaces!


Don't miss these commonly missed high touch surfaces!


⌨️ Keyboards

📱 Cell phones & tablets

💡 Light switches

🚪 Door knobs & handles

🪑 Tables, desks, & counters


TB Clift Tip: The next time you order disinfectant wipes, take a moment to read the label 🏷️ and SDS 🗒️ (Safety Data Sheet). This is key to understand the label and SDS requirements for health and safety standards! Think about it... if you haven't read up about your disinfectant, it's possible that it is more likely to make you sick than the germs you are trying to kill! 😲 This is especially important for use around kids!


Why? Many disinfecting products contain harsh chemicals, and may even require wearing PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) for application. Not to mention, if you haven't read the label, you may not be using it correctly!


BONUS TIP: Help your kids understand what and how to disinfect. Similar to hand sanitizers, disinfectants gotta be wet to disinfect! Get them involved at home to help disinfect high touch surfaces as practice (although we believe that home surfaces do not require disinfection unless someone is sick or in higher risk areas such as food prep surfaces... over disinfection has become common this past year and we do not believe your home needs to be sterile, not all germs are bad! We want to be smart about how and where we disinfect...)


For more info, check out our blog on common sense disinfecting and common disinfecting mistakes.


What disinfectant do we recommend?


We ❤️ Accel Disinfectant Wipes, and you will too! Especially our travel ready soft pack wipes. Accel Prevention Disinfectants kill germs, FAST. Great for throwing into backpacks or desks!


20+ years ago you had to choose between a product that worked well to kill germs and a product that was safe for the people using the products. When Accel disinfectants were introduced to Canadian healthcare it was widely accepted because of its broad spectrum of efficacy, its fast contact times, and its safety profile.


When SARS hit in 2002, Accel was mandated for use in most Canadian Healthcare facilities because of its germicidal potency and safety profile.


Having a disinfectant wipe that does not contain harsh chemicals has never been more important. And finding a product that does not sacrifice its potency for safety is even more important during the COVID-19 Pandemic.


Here's why they're great:

🏥 Hospital Grade

⏰ 3 Minute Contact Time

🧼 No PPE Required

🇨🇦 Made in Canada


Shop for yours today! 👇


 

Play Our Stop the Spread BINGO!

At the end of each day, play a quick game of Stop the Spread Bingo! Keep kids excited and informed about infection prevention and control. Get them to spread the word with their friends... not the germs!


Do you have any back to school tips you want to share to help keep our kids safe this fall?


We would love to hear them! Leave them in a comment below! 👇