It is back to school time! The time of year when parents stock up on school supplies, and get geared up for the year ahead, while children can’t wait to share their summer stories with their school mates. But as we know with the arrival of school also means the arrival of sharing those nasty germs that can lead to colds and flus. Just as you prep for school lunches and great outfits, it is just as important to prepare your kids to fight off the germs and bugs, without overloading them with unneeded chemicals.
The Anti-bacterial Myth
Over the years there has been in increase in the amount of anti-bacterial hand washes and sanitizers that are used in products. The idea seems to make sense…kill the bacteria and prevent the spread of germs. But in reality the overuse of antibacterial products makes the germs and bugs that much more powerful in addition to weakening our immune systems.
Our bodies are built with a balance of good and bad bacteria all competing for space, as well as a very intelligent immune response system that helps to protect against viral intrusions. Just like anything, our response is stronger when it has a chance to work out and test its abilities, but when we are constantly removing the bacteria and keep things too clean, then we weaken our immune system and strengthen the germs.
Plus, the average anti-bacterial product contains a number of unwanted chemicals such as triclosan. While this ingredient is great at protecting your soap and sanitizer from catching any germs, it has been linked to increased risk of hormone disturbance, especially thyroid and estrogen hormone functions. As well as the potential for increasing food allergies, again because it removes the need for our systems to work efficiently and respond to allergens in a natural way.
We are not saying that being dirty is the way to go, it is just not recommended to use a chemical anti-bacterial product to get the job done. Natural options are available that not only help kill bad bacteria but also boost and protect the immune system.
Hygiene Habits for a Healthy School Year
Wash your hands with warm normal soap and water.
Pro Tip: Wash your hands for as long as it takes you to sing Happy Birthday twice. Or let your kids pick a song they love and they will wash forever!
Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, or nose. These are the easiest areas for germs to come in.
Cover your nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing. Be sure to wash your hands right away, or toss the tissue away after using it.
Use a natural hand sanitizer free from harmful chemicals.
DIY Beauty Hand Sanitizer
- 40 drops Thieves oil
- 10 drops lavender oil
- 1 cup Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera
- Add essential oils to a small glass spray bottle.
- Add Witch Hazel to fill bottle.
- Shake well before each use, spray on hands and rub in.
Article was published in The Good Life magazine.