There’s a theme going on this week because of what’s going on in my life right now.
MY BABY IS GOING BACK TO SCHOOL!
While that may be cause for some celebration, it’s also cause for panic because he’s going into 4th grade! That was one of my my favorite years so I have high hopes for him (even though I feel like I’m sending him off to college).
I actually also went back to school. Or maybe I just went to school. The school in question was a swanky several hour GERM SCHOOL in NYC with Lysol!
Now, I’m going to be honest. I was a Biology major. I understand about germs – especially the difference between bacteria and viruses. I fully went to Lysol Germ School thinking I’d be all, Um, yeah, I know this. I’ve studied science so I already know everything.
Well, thank God I didn’t do that. Not only would it have made me look like an jerk (someone I would roll my eyes at), but it would have kept me from learning the things that I did.
So why exactly did Lysol invite me to Germ School? Let’s go back to the beginning of this post. SCHOOL IS STARTING! And that means the germs will be coming home in droves.
In order to better prepare us for what kids bring home, we had a chance to talk to a Lysol “germologist” (I think he was actually a biochemist) and a pediatrician who educated and informed and told me that my science might be a little rusty.
Germ School Homeroom
Instructors: Audrey McClelland, Vera Sweeney, and Joseph Rubino
After a brief welcome from the Lysol team and our hosts Audrey and Very, amazing breakfast smoothies from House of Juice in Brooklyn, and a few giggles as we greeted our fellow students, we got down to business. And the first order of business? A POP QUIZ.
No sweat, though. I was a Biology pro so I was ready when Joe administered a multiple choice, six question quiz. I confirmed some of my knowledge and admittedly learned a few new things like:
- Colds are NOT caused by cold and wet weather (hello, summer cold, I’m talking to you)
- The flu virus can live on hard surfaces for 24 hours
- Flu season lasts from October to May
- You are most likely to catch a cold by shaking hands with someone who has a cold (more so than if you kissed them!)
With this brief introduction to germs and reminder of what is to come during the next school year, we were shipped off to our first class.
Germ School Lesson B
Instructor: Dr. Jennifer Zubler
After Homeroom, we were divided into two groups. My group, led by Vera Sweeney (#TeamVera), moved into a small conference area where we had a casual sitdown with pediatrician, Dr. Jennifer Zubler. My primary questions were about flu vaccines and the dreaded stomach flu.
Here’s what Dr. Zubler taught me:
Kids should still get the flu vaccine.
If you’re like me, you’ve heard that they are discontinuing the nasal flu mist that many kids get every year as a flu preventative. I haven’t exactly broken the new to my son that needles will now be involved. So my big questions were about whether or not the flu vaccine is worth it and how effective it is.
Dr. Zubler told us that the nasal vaccine was proven not to be terribly effective for the flu but admitted that the trauma of an injectable vaccine far outweighs the potentially high fever for at least five days that can come from the flu. She also confirmed that while some strains of flu just can’t be covered, the vaccine can still reduce the severity of symptoms if that strain happens to infect your family.
Avoiding the stomach flu is easier than you think.
It’s this simple. WASH YOUR HANDS. This virus (which is technically not the flu) is not spread by sharing drinks or coughing on each other. It’s spread through poop. That’s as medical as I need to get. Someone touches poop (even microscopically) and touches a surface. Someone else touches that surface and touches their mouth.
Yes, it’s gross. So either you wrap yourself in a plastic bubble or you drill it into your kids’ heads to wash, wash, wash.
Germ School Lesson A
Instructor: Joe Rubino
I’m more of a hands-on learner so after listening to Dr. Zubler, I was ready to get down to some science. And that’s what Joe did for us.
Speaking of hand washing, we conducted a little experiment to see how good we, as parents, do with that task. We sprinkled some sort of lotion on our hands that glowed brightly under a black light. The lotion was meant to simulate exposure to germs. Then, one by one, we washed our hands thoroughly and took a look at them under the black light again.
If we had done a thorough job of washing, there would be nothing glowing on our hands. BUT… if we had missed any spots, the light would reveal it.
We all missed spots. For some, it was their nail beds. For others, like me, it was the outside edge of the palm of my hand. Definitely a learning experience for me (and yes, I’m doing a better job now).
Germ School Graduation
We didn’t really graduate but I left feeling A+ in my knowledge about combatting germs. Lysol sent me home with my very own backpack, pencil pouch, notebook, and samples of products I already use: Lysol Disinfecting Wipes and Lysol Disinfectant Spray (To Go!).
Even better, they reinforced their commitment to keeping schools germ free, that they are now a supporter of the Box Tops for Education Program as well as offering a great Healthy Classroom, Healthy Habits online resource for parents and teachers.
Now go wash your hands and wish for a germ-free school year!
This is a sponsored post based on my attendance at the Lysol Germ School event in NYC. All opinions are my own.