School shopping and hand washing

global-hand-washing-day

I have been shopping for Harley’s nursery school. I want her to start in January, with the idea being that it will give me time off in the mornings to get my work done – once she is crawling and walking, it will be pretty much impossible to get anything done with her at home. Last week I visited a school, and then over the weekend I visited two more. Plus I have more appointments to visit a couple more this week. It’s sort of like shopping for a dress or something – I want to see what’s out there and make sure whichever one I choose is the right fit for me and for Harley. In seeing some of what’s out there, I have some new ideas and concerns, including a weird new interest in hand washing.

At one of the schools I visited, all the kids were playing outside when I arrived. When they came in, they all had to wash their hands before snack time. At another school, they use hand sanitizer when they arrive and leave the premises, something that has apparently cut down on illnesses. It seems sort of fitting that I got a blog drop from Lifebuoy along this theme as well. 

When I got the soaps, I was honestly a bit amused. I mean, why did they think I would care about soaps. And yet, I’ve been so grateful for them. I’ve put a soap at every sink, and I find myself using and enjoying it way more than my usual liquid soap. They smell nice, work so well to cut through grease and dirt, and I know they are getting rid of all the harmful germs I might have picked up along the way. Harley is still a little bit small to wash her hands herself, but it’s important for her to learn about this stuff sooner rather than later.

I suppose it makes sense, then, why Lifebuoy sent me the awesome blog drop. It’s all about giving moms a high five for teaching their kids about hygiene, for teaching their kids to wash their hands. And it is good to do so! According to the stats, washing hands with soap can cut down on all kinds of illnesses – from stomach bugs to flus and even more extreme stuff. It’s really a big deal, and something I want to make sure Harley knows about when she’s ready for school.

I know so many people whose kids have been so sick since starting school. Not just the kids, either – our little ones bring home all the germs and get the whole family sick. It’s a nightmare, really, with a sick kid and sick parents and everyone feeling generally miserable. We have been so lucky thus far that Harley hasn’t really been sick. Yes, she came early and had to spend all that time in NICU, but she wasn’t sick there, and she hasn’t been sick yet. I know getting the germs and plagues are part of normal life and important for her immune system, but I’d rather she gets less severe versions of things. Besides, I’m sure she can build immunities by just being exposed to other people’s natural germs but without getting full blown illnesses. Hopefully, washing her hands will keep her safer.

So high five for handwashing. And high five for schools that promote hygiene as part of day to day life. Now that I have a better sense of what’s out there, I am even more aware of how tricky it is to find the right place for Harley. I want a school that is small and nurturing, not a sausage factory. I want a school that lets her continue with her baby led weaning. I want a school that focuses on play, story time and new experiences. I want a school with plenty of activities like music and sports. I want a school that is aware of separation issues with a little one, that encourages slow transitions. I want a school that is safe, is clean, and is a home away from home. Harley will take in so much there, learn new routines and rules and ideas. It has to be just right.

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