Once the lockdown gets lifted, schools and colleges will reopen. Your child may be happy to return to school and meet friends and teachers. You may be happy about the return to normalcy but, you may be concerned about your child’s exposure to infections. Do not worry. Schools may be taking precautions to sanitise and disinfect their premises. They may also be educating students about the necessary hygiene precautions to take. Besides these steps taken by schools, as a mother of school-going kids, here are a few steps you can take for better hygiene around the kids.
The first thing you need to do is ensure your child understands the correct hand washing steps. Remind your child to avoid touching eyes, nose, mouth without washing hands and to cover coughs and sneezes correctly. Besides inculcating these personal hygiene habits, you may also want to look into the hygiene of your child’s personal items.
Personal items most frequently touched by kids at school are their school bag, uniform, lunch box, pencil box, water bottle. Sharing food, water, pencils, rulers, erasers with friends is a part of school life. These items are touched not just by your child, but even by their friends. It is a good idea to sanitise and disinfect these items frequently.
Germs and infections spread after an uncovered sneeze or cough and may come to rest on nearby surfaces, clothes, bags etc. They can also be passed by touch. If an unwell classmate or friend sneezes or coughs into their hand and then touches your child’s uniform, tiffin box, pencil box or if your kids sit or leave their school bags on a seat someone coughed on, then germs may pass onto their uniform and bags.
Here are some simple tips to clean and disinfect your child’s school items and keep infections at bay.
1) How to Wash School Uniform and School Bag
First, spot treat any stains such as ink, food or mud stains on the uniform. Thereafter, wash your child’s uniform and school bag in the regular wash cycle with a good detergent. Check the wash care label of the school bag before washing.
If someone in the family is unwell or they work at a high-risk place such as hospital, clinic, police station, etc., you may wash their high-risk laundry in hot water, separately from your child’s clothes. You may also sanitise them post-wash with a laundry sanitiser such as Lifebuoy Laundry Sanitizer. Follow pack usage instructions for soaking, and do not mix with detergent.
If you are using a washing machine, then especially for high-risk clothes, choose the longest wash setting with an extra rinse. To ensure a proper deep-clean, don’t overload the machine. Give clothes enough room to move around.
Thoroughly wash the school uniform daily and the school bag as frequently as possible.
2) How to Dry School Uniform and School Bag
Ensure that school uniform, socks, school bag are not even slightly damp before you fold or use them. Dampness may shelter germs. Allow the clothes and bag to dry thoroughly in sunlight. If drying indoors is the only option, follow these tips:
- Hang them on a drying rack in direct sunlight
- Maximise ventilation with open windows
- Hang clothes on coat hangers to speed up drying
- Avoid exposure to mould spores by drying them in areas of your home you spend less time in; avoid bedrooms and the living room if possible.
If you have a tumble drier, it is recommended you use the longest drying cycle to ensure your laundry is thoroughly dry.
Follow these simple steps to keep your child safe from germs and infections even at school.