Another thing to consider is that simply having your hands touch this mythical sick-paper (if it were highly contaminated) would not be enough to make you sick. If you have cuts on your hands and/or are the kind of person who continually touches your face, then those would be a couple of issues to correct in order to increase prevention. Keeping anti-bacterial wipes and/or hand sanitizer on your desk can help, too. I would also highly recommend getting a flu shot. Every school district I have been involved in offed flu shots free for teachers each year.
Would you like to know something else that has helped me stay well (both in the classroom and otherwise)? Wearing glasses instead of contacts! I actually just completed a little "science experiment" testing my theory. If you would like to hear it, read on. If not, then skip to the next post.
Thesis: If I wear a pair of glasses during the entire school year, then I will get fewer sicknesses from my children (and elsewhere).
Let me just say that I became tired of getting sick so many times during the school year. Forget it, … actually, I became tired of getting sick so many times since I had children. I also need corrective eyewear which required me to wear either glasses or contacts. For a long time, I had chosen contacts.
Well, I’m a big snuggler with my kids (much to my kids’ dismay, ha!), … and I’m not sure about yours, but my little kids really do a lot of spewing: sneezes, spits, coughs, sputtering, loud letter “p”s, etc. Yes, I had noticed this, but thought I was astute enough to keep the compounding germs out of my eyes. As my kids entered school, I noticed that I would only have a couple of weeks of wellness between sicknesses. I didn’t like this.
Then came the tipping point: one evening, I had some chips with really spicy salsa. A few hours later, I went to remove my contacts before bed. Knowing I had some salsa hours before, I thought I better scrub my hands really well. I did, … washing them three times and using a nail brush to get under the nails. Finally, I was satisfied that my hands and nails were thoroughly sanitized. Well, when I took my contacts out, I STILL felt the sting of some tiny molecules of that salsa get in there. (It hurt.) This made me stop in my tracks. Did this mean I was getting my kids germs in my eyes each evening, despite my hand washing? Further, did wearing actual glasses put an actual physical barrier in between my eyes and spewing germs?
I decided to take a full year and try it out.
During the 2010-2011 school year, I wore glasses. (Periodically, I would take my glasses off in the evening and observe the dried kid-spittle upon them and ogle.) And you know what? I DIDN’T GET SICK!!! I only got two tiny colds during the entire school year that I nipped in the bud using vitamin c, airborne, and other crazy methods I use to nip colds in the bud. I was so happy!
Therefore, this school year, ya’ know what? I’M WEARIN’ MY GLASSES!!!!
Procedure: Really easy, … simply wear glasses all year and count the number of sicknesses. (I had already counted the number of sicknesses the previous year while I was wearing contacts: I would only have two weeks of wellness in between colds/sickness for the entire school year.
Conclusion: My thesis was correct, because I wore a pair of glasses during the entire school year, I got fewer sicknesses: only two colds compared to a cold every two weeks. Therefore, wearing a pair of glasses makes a physical barrier between the germy world and my eyes and also prevents me from actually touching my eyes each night and morning, therefore reducing the number of sicknesses I get each year.