How To Disinfect Your Home When Kids Go Back To School
As a germaphobe, I discuss the best ways to disinfect your home from Covid-19 and other viruses. Once the kids walk through the door after school, there are steps you need to take to keep germs out of your house. I’ve got details on exactly what to do to make sure your home is germ-free without exposing your family to toxic chemicals.
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Although we’re in the midst of a pandemic, back-to-school is still happening. There will be lunchboxes to pack and backpacks to lug around. Let’s face it – we want our kids to be as safe and germ-free as possible, and we don’t want them bringing germs into our homes (like SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19).
The EPA has a fairly long list of disinfectants for use against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but some of these, like quaternary ammonium compounds, cause symptoms such as respiratory distress and skin irritation, among other health concerns. My goal is to disinfect with products that won’t cause harm to my family’s health.
Being a germaphobe, I’ve come up with a game plan for what after-school disinfecting will look like in our house (without using chemicals that are harmful to the health of my family), and thought I’d share some of my best disinfecting tips.
I recommend keeping a well-stocked supply of the following at home:
- Extra face masks (organic cotton or hemp masks if possible)
- Hand sanitizer (free from synthetic fragrance, phthalates and parabens)
- Hand soap (free from synthetic fragrance, phthalates and parabens)
- Small canvas zip pouches for storing masks and hand sanitizer
- Extra set of school supplies- a “clean” set for home and one for school- like pens, pencils, notebooks, calculator
BEFORE YOUR KIDS HEAD TO SCHOOL EVERY MORNING
Make sure your child has these things in their backpack before leaving the house:
- Supply at least one extra face mask in your child’s backpack (this only applies to children over 2 years old). You never know when they’ll need a fresh mask throughout the day. Put a few extra face masks in a small canvas zipper bag labelled CLEAN MASKS and toss this in your child’s backpack – let them know it’s there. Have a canvas bag labelled DIRTY MASKS so they can put dirty used masks in this bag if needed.
- In a separate canvas zip bag, stash a bottle or two of hand sanitizer. Here’s what I look for in a hand sanitizer: free of synthetic fragrance, parabens and phthalates and containing 70% ethanol or ethyl alcohol (the CDC recommends using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol).