Moms: does back-to-school time stress you out? There are supplies to buy, healthy lunches to plan, and all the jitters associated with new teachers, different classmates, and changing routines.
Unfortunately, all of these changes can weaken our immune systems and make our kids more susceptible to sickness. Add in all the new germs they’re exposed to in school and it’s just a matter of time before somebody has the sniffles or a tummyache…right?
You can keep the germs away safely and naturally. Here are four methods we use to keep our family healthy when school starts.
Start with a Strong Body
Daily exercise, healthy food, and lots of water are important for everyone. (Moms, this means you, too!) Pack a reusable water bottle in the kids’ lunch, and steer them away from the drinking fountain. They aren’t sanitized nearly as often as you’d like (i.e., hardly ever).
No Antibacterial Products
Katie has been telling us to get rid of antibacterial soap since 2009, and here’s why, it’s not any better at washing away germs than regular soap!
The now banned ingredient in antibiotic soap, triclosan, is antibacterial and antifungal, so it sounds like it’s good for fighting germs, right? Unfortunately, it does much more than that, according to the Environmental Working Group.
Triclosan causes endocrine disruption at very low doses. It produces adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in both humans and wildlife.1 It changes testosterone concentration in male rats and hastens puberty in female rats.2
Are these products all over your house? Don’t feel bad–they used to be all over my house too. Before you throw them in the trash, find out if your city considers personal care products to be household hazardous waste. Then you’ll know how to dispose of them.
Good news–plain old soap and warm water works just fine to get rid of germs.
I make my own foaming hand soap, and I include an immune-boosting essential oil blend during cold and flu season. (Learn more about essential oils here). They typically contain wild orange, clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary essential oils, which provide immune support and kill germs–safely and naturally.
Here are some fun handwashing songs that will keep your little ones focused for the full 20 seconds of washing needed to get hands fully clean.
Sung to the tune of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”
Twinkle, twinkle, little star
See how clean my two hands are
Soap and water, wash and scrub
Get those germs off, rub a dub
Twinkle, twinkle, little star
See how clean my two hands are!
Sung to the tune of “Frere Jacques” (sing it twice)
Tops and bottoms, tops and bottoms,
In between, in between,
Scrub-a-dub my hands, scrub-a-dub my hands
Now they’re clean, squeaky CLEAN!
I prefer to wash with soap and water, but sometimes that’s just not practical. If you can’t wash, be sure to use natural hand sanitizer before eating, after sneezing/coughing, etc.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizer works well if used correctly but be sure it doesn’t contain Triclosan! Alcohol is also very drying, so it’s always better to wash with soap and water if at all possible.
There are several homemade, natural hand sanitizer recipes out there–my version contains aloe vera gel, witch hazel, and essential oils. I have also found a great hand and surface sanitizer from Raise Them Well which is great.
Silver nanoparticles have been shown in studies to “be active against several types of viruses.”
3rd Rock’s Silver Excelsior Serum and Silver Infusion Tonic has their patented Chelated Silver Oxide. It’s different and unique in the silver world compared to common, run-of-the-mill ‘colloidal silver’ (source).
This silver is high quality with many health-benefits. Containing amino acids, citrates, and kosher vegetable USP grade glycerin, 3rd Rock silver sticks to and penetrates cell walls—delivering silver oxide straight to cells to bolster their fight against infections in and on the body.
Extra Credit for Teachers & Moms
Maybe it’s the nerd in me, but I love extra credit. There’s something about getting more than 100% on a test that makes my heart smile. Here are some extra germ-busters you can use around the house and/or classroom to help you stay healthy:
- Citrus vinegar breaks down mold, grease, mineral deposits, and it’s anti-bacterial. Infusing the vinegar with citrus peels means your house won’t smell like a salad while you’re cleaning.
- Kill germs without bleach, using two items that are probably in your medicine cabinet right now. I use this when our toddler has a potty accident while taking a bath. (Why does this always happen to me and not Hubby?)
- Use a germ-fighting essential oil blend, to wipe light switches and doorknobs. Imagine all the little germy fingers that touch these each day!
- Endocrine Disruptors. (n.d.). Retrieved June 22, 2020, from https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/endocrine/index.cfm
- Stoker, T. E., Gibson, E. K., & Zorrilla, L. M. (2010). Triclosan Exposure Modulates Estrogen-Dependent Responses in the Female Wistar Rat. Toxicological Sciences, 117(1), 45-53. doi:10.1093/toxsci/kfq180