8 Pandemic-Era Supplies to Consider this School Year
Back-to-school season looked a little bit different this year, as did the supplies. Whether your children attend a local classroom in person, headed back to a college dorm or are studying at the kitchen table, your primary concern should be that they have a clean environment that's conducive to learning. With that in mind, here are eight pandemic-era "school supplies” to consider incorporating into your child's new learning environment.
- Masks, masks, masks! If masks are required for school, you'll probably need to stock up. (And keep some spares out of your children's reach for when they inevitably lose theirs right before it's time to leave the house in the morning.) You can find a child -sized, colorful mask to match almost any taste , but how cute are the adjustable, animal-themed masks from Cubcoats1? Don't forget a mask for yourself too, SoClean offers a lightweight, moisture-wicking, anti-microbial cotton mask with a bendable nose wire.
- Never clean another water bottle. The LARQ water bottle2 uses a chargeable UV-C light to periodically sanitize3 the inside of the bottle, keeping it and your children's water clean and free of germs. It comes in an insulated version that keeps water cool all day, or your children can refill it from the drinking fountain—it will kill up to 99.9999 percent of germs in 60 seconds in "Adventure Mode.”
- The sweet scent of sanitizer. According to the CDC,4 hand sanitizers need to contain 60 percent alcohol to be effective against germs, but that doesn't mean they need to smell like alcohol. The Honest Company makes inexpensive hand sanitizing pumps, sprays and wipes5 with fruity scents. They come in backpack-friendly sizes, too.
- An eco-friendly dusting combo. Dust can harbor germs and allergens6, so it's best to keep it at bay in any study or sleeping area where a child is going to be spending a lot of time. One easy way to trap and remove dust—and not just move it around—is to use a microfiber cloth7 and a simple, homemade cleaning solution.8 For hard-to-reach areas, try something like OXO's microfiber dusters.9
- Surface protection. If your student is doing a lot of work at the kitchen table, you might want to protect the wood surface from scratches and marks. One way is with these anti-glare, antimicrobial desk pads by Artistic Office Products.10They provide a firm, self-healing surface that helps inhibit the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew11and won't slide around.
- Dual-purpose greenery. A potted plant goes a long way toward making a workspace more pleasant, and several kinds of plants are great for keeping the air clean, too. Consider the humble sansevieria,8 which is attractive, easy to care for, and has been shown to remove toxins—such as formaldehyde, xylene, toluene and nitrogen oxides—from the indoor air.
- Hands off my stuff. Shared school supplies are out—diligent labeling of your students' own items so they don't get mixed with other people's is in! Pop a label on your child's water bottle, tissues, glue and crayon box for a little extra peace of mind. This label maker from Brother8 is easy to use and can be plugged in or run on batteries.
- Fresh, clean air. We could use fresh air in any indoor environment but don't set foot in a dorm without it! The SoClean Air Purifier9 has advanced filtration technology that eliminates up to 99.99999 % of allergens, viruses, bacteria and dust before you breathe them in. It has a small footprint and is perfect for keeping the air fresh and clean in the room where your student is working or sleeping.
- Cubcoats masks.
- LARQ water bottle.
- LARQ water bottle technology.
- "Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Takes Action to Protect Public Health; Increase Supply of Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, June 2020.
- The Honest Company hand sanitizers.
- "Dust allergy,” American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
- "Understanding Microfiber's Role in Infection Protection,” Infection Control Today.
- "Homemade 2-Ingredient Dusting Spray,” by Kristin Marr, Live Simply, accessed August 2020.
- OXO Good Grips Microfiber Extendable Duster.
- Artistic Rhinolin II Desk Pads.
- Artistic Antimicrobial Desk Pads.
- Brother PTD210 label maker.
- SoClean Air Purifier.