Germs. They’re on every surface we touch and are quick to strike with an array of cold and flu viruses. Luckily, the transportation of germs is significantly slowed by frequent handwashing and the sanitizing of surfaces. Teaching your children – as early as possible – about the importance of handwashing and helping them to understand the purpose behind cleanliness will go a long way towards keeping your family illness free!

While schools do their best to remain clean and sanitized, it’s no surprise that a place frequented by little people are breeding grounds for bacteria. Ensuring that your child practices proper and frequent handwashing will help protect your entire family. CNN reports the top eight germiest places in schools:

Bathroom Doors
Cafeteria Trays
Unrefrigerated Lunches
Desks
Art Supplies
Sports Equipment
Playground Equipment
Drinking Fountains

Aside from instilling proper hygiene practices in your child, help him or her combat germs by keeping simple items close at hand. Purchase small bottles of alcohol-based hand sanitizer to keep in your purse, car, your child’s backpack and sports bag, and anywhere else you or your child might not have immediate access to soap and water. Keep disinfecting wipes in your car and wipe down surfaces – especially inside door handles and the steering wheel – at least once a week to provide your family with a germ-reduced environment.

Keep your kids healthy by regularly sanitizing the surfaces in your home. Today Health reports that kitchen sinks are dirtier than most bathrooms. Clean sink basins and faucets by rinsing with a bleach-water solution at least once a week. If you use sponges to clean your dishes, make sure that you frequently sanitize your sponge by rinsing with bleach and running it through your dishwasher’s drying cycle. CBS News recently curated a list of the ten germiest items in your home:

Dish Sponges & Rags
Kitchen Sinks
Toothbrush Holders
Pet Bowls
Coffee Makers
Faucet Handles
Pet Toys
Kitchen Counters
Stove Knobs
Cutting Boards

Get your children in the habit of washing their hands frequently and encourage them to use hand sanitizer after playing outside, riding in shopping carts, handling public door handles, etc.

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