August 31, 2012 : Germs in the Classroom: How to keep you and your students healthy this year

Germs in the Classroom: How to keep you and your students healthy this year

One of the most difficult parts of being a teacher is the frequency with which you are going to encounter various types of sicknesses throughout the year. Kids are living, breathing, walking, talking, incubators of some of the nastiest germs out there, and if you haven’t been acclimated to an environment full of these germs, your immune system may not be up to fighting off the colds, coughs, and flu symptoms your body will entertain throughout the year.

If you are a new teacher you are bound to be worn down by the stress and nature of the job. Taking time off can be costly, both financially and to your professional reputation. So how do you go about staying disease free throughout an entire year? Below we have listed some tips in order to help make sure that you can spend more time worrying about your lesson plans than you’re your insurance plan

Flu shot – it’s recommended that you get one of these every year, many school districts no supply and/or require teachers to receive these.

Multivitamins – Take a multivitamin when you start to notice the first few signs of your classroom environment being invaded by germs.

Wipe down all tables/doorknobs/keyboards daily with disinfecting wipes daily. If not daily, on a very regular basis, don’t set your class up to become one giant Petri dish.

At all costs avoid using the same tissue box as the students, keep one in your desk or bag that the students won’t have access to.

Also avoid using the same pens, pencils, or other art supplies as the students. Have your own “teacher set” of supplies.

Instruct your students on how to cough into their elbows instead of their hands.

Avoid eye rubbing, nose scratching, etc, during the school day; the less your hands are touching your face, the better.

Stay hydrated, every teacher should have a water bottle that they fill up throughout the day. This not only keeps you healthy, but sets an example for students to stay hydrated with water instead of with sugary drinks.

Try and get 8 hours of sleep a night. This isn’t always possible, especially in those first few years of teaching, but eventually with enough practice, you’ll learn how to balance your time in order to treat yourself to the proper amount of sleep.

Wash your hands thoroughly when you get home. Pretend you are a doctor about to “scrub in” and get all the way up to your elbows, this may seem excessive, but in the end it is worth it.

Change your clothes when you arrive home and put your school clothes in the laundry, also make sure that you keep your laundry basket outside of you r bedroom.

When you cannot find a sink, use hand sanitizing wipes in order to make sure that your hands are not spreading illness from you’re your students to you.

Hopefully by following these tips you can get to winter break, spring break, and then summer break without having battled too many difficult illnesses. Good luck this year!


August 24, 2012 : Cleaning Gym Equipment

Cleaning Gym Equipment

Many people go to gyms to work out and stay healthy. Gyms have all the work out equipment needed in one building and the people there to train help with creating personalized workouts, so therefore its no surprise that so many people have memberships to gyms.  Additionally gyms offer motivation for those who need encouragement to work out hard. Watching other people pump iron while sweating profusely only motivates one to want to keep moving. I can still remember years ago watching an older woman on the stair master for 45 minutes and thinking if she can do it, so can I.

Although it’s great that so many people go to gyms, it can be frustrating when your scheduled time at the gym is spent waiting in line for people to be finished with the work out equipment. Many gyms have signs everywhere stating that there is a 30-minute time limit on the machines, however 30 minutes of watching other people exercise is tiring and can be unsettling. Watching other people running and sweating on treadmills or ellipticals can be motivating like already mentioned, however it’s not very appetizing to be working out in other people’s sweat and grime.

Many gyms that I’ve been to offer ways to wipe up your sweat after you’re done with the workout machines, however many of the solutions are ineffective. The gym that I go to often has disinfectant spray and several cloth towels to wipe up after yourself. After several wipe downs though, the cloth towel becomes soaked in sweat and disinfectant spray that it makes you not want to touch the towel and clean up after yourself because the towel is filthy.  The gym I went to last night, offered a better solution: disposable paper towels and disinfectant spray. Using disposable paper towels might seem to be a better solution because they are disposable and doesn’t leave people using dirty cloth towels, however the gym equipment is still left dirty.

If you read the label on the disinfectant sprays used at many gyms, the directions for use section states that the disinfectant has a 10-minute contact time. This means that after the disinfectant is sprayed onto the gym equipment, the disinfectant has to stay on the equipment for 10 minutes for it to disinfect properly. However, people are unknowledgeable of this, and don’t wait the 10 minutes. Instead, people spray the disinfectant onto the equipment and immediately remove it by cloth or paper towel therefore not disinfecting the equipment effectively.

Therefore, I think the more effective and convenient way to clean the equipment is by using antibacterial gym wipes. Gym Wipes are towelettes that have been designed specifically to clean gym equipment. They do not contain alcohol and don’t need a 10 minute contact time. Additionally they are easy to use and dispose of. Just pull, wipe, dispose, and begin working out on a clean workout machine.


August 3, 2012 : Tis the Season of State Fairs

Tis the Season of State Fairs

Across America this month, millions of peoples will be visiting state fairs and carnivals.  Some of the most popular and largest state fairs being the Arizona State Fair, Iowa State Fair, Minnesota State Fair, and the Green New York State Fair. All of these fairs offer a lot of food and carnival rides, and even some offer other types of entertainment such as booths, and live animals to feed and pet. Although the rides are fun and thrilling to go on, and the animals are amusing to watch as they stick their snouts through the metal gating, it seems like food is what attracts many people to the fair. A fair wouldn’t be a real fair unless if it had delicious deep fried food that we all know is bad for us but we eat anyways, right?
 
In a recent article from ABC News, they stated the top 10 State Fair Food Favorites. In the list it included: Carmel Apples, Belgian Waffle on a stick, deep-fried oreo cookies, corn dogs, frozen coffee on a stick, cotton candy, funnel cake, fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich, deep-fried Norwegian banana split, and an open-faced grilled spam sandwich. Out of this list of mouth-watering food, I would have to say my favorite is the cotton candy.
 
I don’t eat candy cotton often, but when I do I absolutely love it. There’s something exciting about walking around the state fairgrounds eating freshly made cotton candy, zoning out to the merry-go-round music, and feeling like a kid again.  However, when I was a kid I didn’t mind the stickiness from my candy floss after I was done eating it. I willing licked off wet sugar from my fingers, but GROSS now a days I wouldn’t dare to do that. Instead, I am always left going on a scavenger hunt to find the closest outhouse in hope that they will have instant hand sanitizer gels or a sink to remove the stickiness from my hands. Often though, the outhouses are unequipped with any form of way to clean off my hands, and therefore I’m left spending the rest of my day with color dyed, wet, sticky, sugary, hands.
 
It’s a little unsettling for me to know that once I buy my ticket at the fair and walk through the gates, I only have access to the resources that the fair provides. If they don’t have soap and water, hand sanitizing wipes, or hand sanitizer gels, then I’m let having dirty hands to eat with after touching the farm animals, and left with wet sugar on my fingers after eating my cotton candy. Years ago I gave up on relying on only what the state fairs supply for hand sanitation, because often I was left unsatisfied with my resources. Therefore, I began bringing my own hand wipes, specifically the sani hands individually packaged wipes. That way I could eat my favorite fair food, and not have to go on a scavenger hunt looking for a place to Wipe It Clean.



   
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