Erin Chawla: The Kiducation Learning Curve


6 Ways To Keep Your Child Germ-Free This School Year

How teachers and parents can help keep kids’ fingers out of their noses and their germs to themselves

6 Ways To Keep Your Child Germ-Free This School Year

Kids are notorious for drenching their classrooms in unseen viruses and bacteria. Your child’s first year in an organized group setting—be it daycare, preschool or kindergarten—was probably their worst.

Kids seem to pass on a continuous stream of colds and germs to each other, regifting often. Just when it appears a virus was letting up, a new one sweeps in to take its place. Even if your child is a school veteran, he or she is not immune. No doubt, more than a few sniffles will pop by your house this year.

This year I will be teaching kindergarten and I fear the snotty noses!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a mom and therefore a wiper of all things gross. I clean tushies, drool, and boogers along with the best of them. I once cut my infant daughter out of a onesie that fell victim to a first-class poop explosion. But, gross is less gross when it comes to your own children and those bright-eyed little kindergarteners are notorious snot factories. It's the gift that keeps on giving.

So, in the interest of protecting your children, not to mention teachers everywhere (for example, me), I present to you:

A Teacher’s Guide to Good Boogie Habits!

1. Keep it in your nose!

Little noses have a way of being invaded by little fingers, which then proceed to use communal pencils, touch door knobs, play tag and share finger paints.

Nose picking may be a reality of life and some people can’t seem to resist the urge for a little public exploration (especially while beside me at a traffic light). Teach your youngins that clearing the bats out of the cave is a private matter and if it absolutely must be engaged in (sometimes there’s an itch that needs scratching) do it in the bathroom and then wash your hands properly. 

2. Those hands are made for washin’

Seriously, the washing of hands is an amazing medical advancement (ok, not a recent medical advancement, but at the time, it was revolutionary) that has saved millions of lives. Show your kids how to wash early and often. It isn’t hard, as I have never met a preschooler who doesn’t love getting their hands all sudsy and playing in the sink any chance they get. The real trick is keeping them excited about hand washing as they hit grade three and above.

And good old-fashioned soap and water will do the trick. Hand sanitizer can do in a pinch, but be cautious of its overuse. There is a growing body of evidence questioning the health of hand sanitizers and the toxins they contain. Also, there are many health care professionals that believe the rise of antibiotic everything is contributing to an increase in allergies and intolerances. Regular handwashing with good old soap and water is always the first choice.

3. Use a boogie force-field

Snot happens. Mucus is there for a reason — it lines your nose to collect all those microscopic invaders, then you cough or sneeze to prevent the tiny aliens from going any deeper into your body and setting up shop. The problem is, those coughs and sneezes send the germs and viruses back out into the big wide world, in search of a new body to attack.  

You’ve seen the signs on public transit — cough or sneeze into your elbow or block that nasal spray with a tissue. We probably all grew up being told to cover our face with our hands in these instances, but here in the modern world, the elbow is preferred — because no one turns the doorknob with their elbow. A human sneeze can come out at more than 100 miles an hour. Stop that sucker in its tracks using an acceptable force field.

4. Eat right and exercise

Darn it. Eat right and exercise is always the answer. Just once I want to be told to lie on the couch with a pint of ice cream. But alas, the body’s immune system is its greatest line of defence against boogies turning bad and you keep your kid’s immune system healthy by keeping their bodies healthy. So the blasted eat right and exercise rises again. Sigh.

5. Thar she blows!

Remember that running nose, trying to expel those foreign invaders? Once a cold takes hold, that little mucus factory will flow and flow until it feels germ-free. If you are lucky, your offspring have learned the fine art of blowing their noses — as in forcibly expelling the boogies. Mine is still in the wiping stage — although she makes a valiant effort at imitating my model blowing by making a variety of noises with her mouth. The wiping stage means that for the duration of a cold, I get the pleasure of looking at my daughter’s sweet face and noticing it shining with snot, often flowing right into her mouth.  Ah, glamourous childhood! Whether your child blows or a flows, Boogie Wipes will be your new best friend.

Boogie Wipes are soft little tissues, moistened with saline, aloe and vitamin e — everything you need to keep those wee nostrils from reddening and drying. The saline also helps moisten the inside of those nasal passages, helping expedite the mucus flow and minimizing the disgusting crusty boogers (see point #1). Not to mention, they come in a slew of great scents that appeal to tiny smellers.

My toddler frequently asks if she can smell the package. Actually, while writing this post, she helpfully developed a cold and now every time she feels some escaped moisture, she runs to me saying, "Boogie Wipes." Seriously, the kids asks for them by name — and she's not yet two.

6. Back away from the face!

I’m sure there is some crazy statistic about how many times the average person touches their face in an hour. No matter what that number is, urge your kids to reduce it. There’s no doubt that some dirt is good for kids, but when it comes to managing the boogie brigade, face touching just gives them a horse to ride in on. Keep little fingers away from noses, eyes, and mouths.  

There are times when those boogies shouldn't be at school at all and there are times when those boogies could be prevented. For the rest of the time, slip a package of Boogie Wipes into their backpack.


I plan on teaching all these lessons to my new gaggle of 4- and 5-year-olds this fall. If you are so inclined, dear parent, help me out and teach these lessons at home too. Let’s keep the mucus where it belongs (and not on the sand table or a school desk). And while you're at it, if it’s your husband boldly digging at his nasal cavities while driving next to me, please beg him to stop.

Sometimes motherhood is gross, but don’t forget to enjoy the journey!

Take a minute to boogie on over to the Boogie Wipes Canada Facebook page and click on “Like.”

Once you do you’ll be able to enter their fun Facebook giveaways, get cute craft ideas, and laugh out loud at parenting moments we can all relate to!