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Can Air Purifiers Keep You Protected from COVID19?

The world is gradually reopening amid this COVID19 pandemic. Unfortunately, the novel coronavirus continues spreading and shows no sign of stopping, and yet winter is coming.

 

With more and more Canadians return to schools, workplaces, and public spaces, and start spending more time indoors as outdoor air temperatures drop, experts fear these indoor gatherings could spark new outbreaks. In this blog, we will be exploring the role medical purifiers play in protecting us from the coronavirus.

COVID19 can be spread by airborne transmission

Our understanding of how the coronavirus spreads is evolving. In the early days of the COVID19 pandemic, many experts assumed that the novel coronavirus is transmitted by direct or close contact with infected people who release small respiratory droplets when they cough, sneeze or talk. However, a growing body of research shows that airborne transmission of the virus through aerosols – microscopic respiratory droplets 5 μm or smaller in size – is possible. This means that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID19, can flow in the air for hours after people cough, sneeze, talk, or sing. 

 

In particular, it can linger in poorly ventilated and enclosed indoor spaces, spreading farther than 6 feet from its source. Therefore, these public spaces are at high risk. However, in many countries like Canada, many restaurants and bars are operating again, a number of schools have resumed in-person classes, and some people are back to the offices. How can we make these indoor spaces cleaner and safer to mitigate the spread of COVID19?

Ventilation really is just essential

As it is acknowledged that COVID19 is in the air, especially in enclosed spaces that are poorly ventilated. So how does it affect how we should protect ourselves in practical terms? There are no perfect safe indoor environments during the pandemic, but there are clear goals to have in mind when trying to make them safer. The first thing is to limit the amount of virus in the air in the first place. We can start by reducing the number of humans in a spcae, wearing a mask when indoors with people outside of the household pod, and limiting activities like singing or shouting.

 

Besides source control, ventilation really is just important. In the Science letter, Kimberly Prather, an atmospheric chemist, recommends opening doors and windows, moving gatherings outdoors whenever possible, and the use of standalone air filters in rooms.

 

Using an air purifying unit is a relatively easy and effective way to get clean air in a place where people are in close contact or you cant easily open windows or doors for ventilation. In a typical room without an air cleaner, the air gets fully changed out about once very two hours through air leakage. Portable air cleaners can limit the spread of the virus via long-range airborne particles by capturing most of those particles in a HEPA filter and cleaning the air at a rate of up to six times per hour. 

Air purifiers could be a must-have in a COVID19 winter

The virus that causes COVID19 loves dry air with low humidity. Airborne particles are smaller in dry air and low humidity. Infectious particles produced by a sneeze or cough remain in the air longer, increasing the risk of exposure to other people. According to a new study, every 1% decrease in relative humidity, COVID19 cases can increase by 7% – 8%. Therefore, in a COVID19 winter, purifying indoor air is essential to limit the potential spread of the virus.

So, how can you find the right air purifier? Look for a unit with a HEPA filter and a clean air delivery rate(CARD) of 300 cubic feet per minute or better.

 

Surgically Clean Air is among the most advanced and effective air purification systems on the market today. Clinical research study shows that its Jade model has excellent performance in hospitals, medical labs, and dental clinics to clean and sterilize the indoor air. Its multi-stage filtration system captures dust particles, pollen, volatile organic chemicals (VOCs), mold, allergens, viruses, odors, bio-aerosols, nitrious oxide, and many other pollutants that are found in the inside air in workspaces and residences.

Surgically Clean Air

Air purifier provides an added layer of protection

Of course, air purifiers are not a magic bullet as they are not able to protect people from getting COVID19 alone. However, it is an added layer of protection, helping close the gap in infection control protocol which had previously focused mostly on hand washing and the disinfection of surfaces. When used alongside other precautions recommended such as wearing masks, social distancing, reduced occupancy, and proper sanitization, air purifiers can be a part of a plan to protect people indoors.

Just like air purifying, cleaning and sanitizing facilities with certified disinfectant solutions can be considered as another layer of protection. We recommend Vital Oxide, a hospital-grade disinfectant authorized by Health Canada for use against COVID19. For effective sanitization, foggers can be employed to apply the disinfectant as they allow for touchless application, even and efficient coverage, and less solution usage.

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What can we do to slow the 2nd wave of COVID19?

Seven months into the pandemic, Canadians are getting used to wearing a mask, keeping a physical distance from others, and staying at home as much as possible to help limit the spread. But, the 2nd wave of COVID19 has surfaced with the number of cases across the country surging again.


At first glance, the second wave may seem less dangerous than the first one as we believe that medical experts now have a better idea of the virus, testing capacity has drastically improved, and stocks of personal protective equipment
have grown. However, the 2nd wave of COVID19 is no less of a threat than the first.

We still need to take the 2nd wave seriously

According to an infectious disease specialist, the second wave of the pandemic in Canada is largely being spread among younger, healthier populations that was in the spring, when long-term care homes were hit hardest. Although the survival rate for those who are hospitalized is much higher due to the expanded knowledge about how to treat the virus, the number of people who will get very sick and die will start to go up with numbers soaring in younger populations. Also, the more the virus spreads in the community, the harder it will be to keep it out of seniors’ residences, and long-term care homes where the impact can be devastating.

Experts are also worried about whether Canadians will be resistant to the idea of re-entering lockdown if it’s deemed necessary. If people are not willing to follow public health directives, that’s when this pandemic would become much worse than it is and potentially worse than the first wave.

 

2nd wave will hit indigenous communities harder

Indigenous communities have been facing an alarming rise in the number of new and active COVID19 cases. During the first months of the pandemic, infection rates on reserves were relatively low compared to the general public. But in the past six weeks, there have been outbreaks in Indigenous communities across the country. Indigenous Services Canada reported that the rise in new and active COVID19 cases has been linked to private gatherings, as well as exposure to positive cases from outside of communities.

What can we do to slow the second wave?

Stay home as much as possible

 

Staying at home is the most effective way to avoid getting infected, protecting yourself, your loved ones, and communities

 

Continue to practice prevention actions recommended

 

1. Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol, especially after you have been in a public space, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

2. Wear a mask or face covering when around others

3. Avoid crowded places and keep 2 metres away from others when outside of your home

4. Limit non-essential travel

5. Monitor your health daily

 

 

 

Clean and disinfect properly

 

1. Wear reusable or disposable gloves for routine cleaning and disinfection

2. Clean surfaces using soap and water first to reduce number of germs, dirt and impurities on the surface

3. After cleaning, use a disinfectant that is authorized by Health Canada for use against the novel coronavirus, for instance, Vital Oxide, and follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product. Fogging or spraying is the method recommended as it would reduce cross contamination and achieve an even and efficient coverage.

4. Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces. High touch surfaces include tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc.

 

 

Use an air purifier to disinfect the air if needed

 

It’s acknowledged that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID19, can linger in poorly ventilated and enclosed indoor spaces, spreading farther than 6 feet from its source. In a place where people are in close contact or cant easily open windows or doors for ventilation, using an air purifying unit is a relatively easy and effective way to get clean air. In a typical room without an air cleaner, the air gets fully changed out about once every two hours through air leakage. Portable air cleaners can limit the spread of the virus via long-range airborne particles by capturing most of those particles in a HEPA filter and cleaning the air at a rate of up to six times per hour. 

 

In addition, the novel coronavirus loves dry air with low humidity. With winter approaching, using an air purifier could help mitigate the spread and in turn slow down the second wave.

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A Guide to Disinfectant Fogging

Disinfectant Fogging

Amid the pandemic, many businesses, organizations, and public spaces across Canada are reopening, following the guidelines strictly to prevent the potential spread. However, with the number of new cases surging again, how can business owners effectively mitigate COVID19 risks to protect their customers, clients, and frontline employee while keeping the business open?

 

In addition to wearing masks and following social distancing rules, maintaining a safe and clean environment is extremely essential.

 

In this blog, we will be introducing disinfectant fogging, one of the most effective and efficient ways to disinfect.

What is disinfectant fogging?

Disinfectant fogging is a disinfection method involving saturating an entire room with a microbial substance that can eliminate pathogens from the air, as well as from the surfaces within the room. Compared to traditional wiping and spraying, disinfectant fogging creates a wide-reaching mist that covers high traffic and hard-to-reach areas. Disinfectant fogging is proven to be highly effective at combating pathogens, including the novel coronavirus and other common household germs.

How does the disinfectant fogger work?

The disinfectant fogger produces a mist that suspends in the air in a certain amount of time to kill bacteria and viruses. It kills pathogens on touchpoint areas. The fog coats the surfaces evenly, even those hard to reach points and odd-shaped objects.

What are the benefits of disinfectant fogging?

Disinfectant fogging is a powerful tool that can help business and home maintain a high level of sanitation. Compared to other disinfection methods, disinfectant fogging has a variety of advantages that make it effecitive and efficient.

1. Better coverage

Disinfectant fogging make it easy to completely and evenly cover oddly-sized and hard-to-reach areas. With foggers, 

2. Time efficient

Disinfectant fogging allows for a quick application

3. Cost effective

Disinfectant fogging uses less solution to disinfect the same size of a surface than other disinfection methods.

4. Effortless application

Most disinfectant foggers are easy to operate, which allows for users to disinfect their facilities with ease

How do I prepare for disinfectant fogging?

To achieve the best outcomes of disinfectant fogging, we recommend you take the following steps prior to disinfectant fogging.

 

1.Clean all items/surfaces to be disinfected with soap/detergent and water before disinfectant application.

 

2. Put away all food from exposed areas

 

3. Allow for the dwell time for effective disinfection

What disinfectant solution should I use?

We recommed using Vital Oxide for disinfectant fogging to maintain a safe and clean environment amid COVID19. Vital Oxide is a hospital grade disinfectant solution authorized by Health Canada and EPA for use against COVID19, as well as NSF registered food contact sanitizer. It is 100% biodegradable, non-corrosive, non-irritating to skin, and has a SDS rating of 0-0-0, the safest possible rating. The disinfectant is proven to kill a wide range of viruses and bacteria (check out full kill list)and does not contain VOCs. It is ready to use and requires no rinsing or wiping after fogging.

If you own a business, or run an institution such as a school, the safety of your customers, students, and frontline employees remains the priority. Protecting them from COVID19 is your responsibility. Through disinfectant fogging, we are able to create and maintain a clean and healthy environment to keep the community safe amid the pandemic.

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COVID19: 5 Tips for Teachers to Stay Safe When Schools Open

Back to School

“As a teacher, what can I do to protect myself when heading back to the classroom come September  as the novel coronavirus continues spreading? “

With school reopening weeks away, 8 in 1o teachers in Canada are worried about returning to school amid COVID19. The concerns teachers have include the mental health and well-being of their students in relation to the COVID19, and of course their own safety.

In this blog, we explore 5 practical tips for teachers to protect themselve from the pandemic when school reopens.

Properly wear and sanitize PPE

COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), so the use of masks and other PPE is particularly important in settings where people are close to each other or where social distancing is difficult to maintain.

According to the Guide to reopening Ontario’s schoolsteachers will be provided with medical masks, eye protect such as face shields, and other personal protective equipment. To reduce the potential spread of COVID19, you should know how to properly wear and sanitize PPE.

How to put on a face mask

  1. Clean your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer before touching the mask.
  2. Remove a mask from the box and make sure there are no obvious tears or holes in either side of the mask.
  3. Determine which side of the mask is the top. The side of the mask that has a stiff bendable edge is the top and is meant to mold to the shape of your nose.
  4. Determine which side of the mask is the front. The colored side of the mask is usually the front and should face away from you, while the white side touches your face.
  5. Follow the instructions below for the type of mask you are using.
    • Face Mask with Ear loops: Hold the mask by the ear loops. Place a loop around each ear.
    • Face Mask with Ties: Bring the mask to your nose level and place the ties over the crown of your head and secure with a bow.
    • Face Mask with Bands: Hold the mask in your hand with the nosepiece or top of the mask at fingertips, allowing the headbands to hang freely below hands.  Bring the mask to your nose level and pull the top strap over your head so that it rests over the crown of your head.  Pull the bottom strap over your head so that it rests at the nape of your neck.
  6. Mold or pinch the stiff edge to the shape of your nose.
  7. If using a face mask with ties: Then take the bottom ties, one in each hand, and secure with a bow at the nape of your neck.
  8. Pull the bottom of the mask over your mouth and chin.

 

How to remove a face mask

  1. Clean your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer before touching the mask.Avoid touching the front of the mask. The front of the mask is contaminated. Only touch the ear loops/ties/band.Follow the instructions below for the type of mask you are using.
  2. Face Mask with Ear loops: Hold both of the ear loops and gently lift and remove the mask
  3. Face Mask with Ties: Untie the bottom bow first then untie the top bow and pull the mask away from you as the ties are loosened.
  4. Face Mask with Bands: Lift the bottom strap over your head first then pull the top strap over your head.
  5. Throw the mask in the trash. Clean your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer.

Source: sfcdcp

  • Disinfect font side of shiedd by using disinfectant wipe or spraying Health Canada-approved disinfectant (recommended)such as Vital Oxide, allow for appropriate dwell time
  • Turn shield over, wipe or spray inside of shield and other areas, e.g. strap or ear loops, allow for appropriate dwell time
  • If shield is streaked or has a cloudy film, clean mask with soft, damp cloth or use an alcohol pad
  • Allow to air dry
  • If face shield appears damaged or torn – discard and obtain a replacement

Avoid touching high touch surfaces as much as possible​

High-touch surfaces can be risky. COVID-19 spreads primarily through the droplets people emit when they cough, sneeze, talk, sing, or exhale; Those droplets can land on any surfaces nearby or be transferred there by someone touching the surface. Simply touching a contaminated surface won’t give you the coronavirus; however, you can transfer the virus to your mouth, nose, or eyes by touching those sensitive spots, allowing the virus to enter the body and cause infection. Objects that people frequently touch with bare hands are of greater concern than chairs or other surfaces that we’re in contact with through clothing.

High touch points in schools include:

  • Door knobs and handles
    Stair rails
  • Classroom desks and chairs
  • Lunchroom tables and chairs
  • Countertops
  • Handrails
  • Light switches
  • Handles on equipment (e.g., athletic equipment)
  • Push-buttons on vending machines and elevators
  • Shared toys
  • Shared remote controls
  • Shared telephones
  • Shared desktops
  • Shared computer keyboards and mice

To reduce the risk of being exposed to COVID19 in schools, avoid directly touching frequently-touched surfaces with fingertips, or grab a tissue when needed. In addition, sanitizing the objects in the classroom that are frequently touched with effective disinfectant such as Vital Oxide can eliminate the germs and in turn protect yourself and others. Last but not least, clean your hands before touching your smartphone. Mobile phones may not be public surfaces, but studies have shown that they too can harbor bacteria, viruses, and other germs. 

Get familiar with COVID-19 protocols​​

Getting yourself familiar with the guidances for school reopening can help you be more prepared when the new school year comes. By strictly following the protocols, you can protect yourself and others in school from the coronavirus disease.

Before the training being provided to tachers, there are some guidelines for schools to reopen safely during the pandemic that teachers should be aware of. 

All staff and students must self-screen every day before attending school. School boards should provide parents with a checklist to perform daily screening of their children before arriving at school and self-assessment tools should be made available to staff to ensure awareness of possible symptoms of COVID-19. Signs should be posted at entrances to the school to remind students, staff, parents/caregivers, and essential visitors of screening requirements. If a student or staff member is experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, they must stay home from school and should seek testing and appropriate medical attention.

 

The ministry is also working with public health officials to ensure a supply of public health nurses to assist schools across the province, including assistance with screening of potential cases of COVID-19.

 

All staff and students who are experiencing new or worsening symptoms consistent with COVID-19 must not attend school and should seek appropriate medical attention as required, including getting tested at a COVID-19 testing centre.

Staff and students feeling sick should remain at home while waiting for test results.

 

If a symptomatic individual tests positive for COVID-19, they should continue to remain in isolation at home and follow the directions of their local public health unit.

 

Source: ontario.ca

As much distancing as possible between students, between students and staff and between staff members should always be promoted. Physical distancing measures are to be supplemented with other public health measures supported by health and safety strategies, such as screening, adapted school environment, cohorting, hand hygiene, enhanced cleaning and masking.

Classroom sizes in Ontario schools vary in size, but schools are encouraged to remove unnecessary furniture and place desks with as much distancing as possible, and to allow teachers as much teaching space as possible. Desks should face forward rather than in circles or groupings.

 

Schools are encouraged to locate larger classes in larger spaces and to use all available space in a school, including gyms and libraries.

 

Source: ontario.ca

Appropriate hand hygiene is one of the most important protective strategies. Schools should be prepared to train students on appropriate hand hygiene, including the use of alcohol-based hand rub, and to reinforce its use.

 

This can involve scheduling breaks to allow students to wash their hands at appropriate times during the school day.

 

Source: ontario.ca

Cohorting refers to the practice of keeping students together in a small group throughout their school day, with limited exposure to multiple teachers or a wide variety of classmates. This practice limits the number of other students that a single student is in contact with.  This practice will also facilitate contact tracing should that be necessary. School boards will be expected to implement adapted timetables at both the elementary and secondary levels that support cohorting of students to the greatest extent possible. An elementary student should be cohorted with their classmates and their homeroom teacher, with limited contact with other subject teachers for classes such as French as a second language/Anglais, the arts and physical education. A secondary student should be limited to approximately 100 student contacts. Boards are also encouraged to keep in-person cohorts to two classes, or with their grade, depending on the size of their high school. As discussed in the Secondary Schools section, this may require adapted timetables and a study hall or remote delivery of some classes in Grades 11 and 12 to limit the size of the cohort a secondary student is exposed to. The ministry has been engaged in discussions with trustee associations, school boards and teacher federations on student timetables that achieve the goals of appropriate pedagogy, cohorting and respect for collective agreements. Source: ontario.ca

Check out what a school at Kitchener, Waterloo has done to create and maintain a safe and healthy school environment for students, teachers, and school staff amid the COVID-19 pandamic.

Having small class sizes,  adding hand sanitizing stations, increasing sanitization for high touch surfaces, AIM KW is also disinfecting the school facility several times a day by fogging Health Canada authorized disinfectant Vital Oxide to eliminate germs and viruses.

Talk to students about COVID19​

To maintain a safe environment when schools reopen, students play a vital role in it. Providing students with accurate information and science-based  facts about COVID-19 and engaging them in age appropriate discussion can really help prevent and control the spread of the virus in school.

 

Here are some suggestions about how teachers can engage students of different ages on preventing and controlling the spread of COVID-19.

  • Focus on communicating good health behaviours, such as covering coughs and sneezes with the elbow and washing hands. See more on how to avoid the risk of infection here.
  • One of the best ways to keep children safe from coronavirus and other diseases is to simply encourage regular handwashing, for at least 20 seconds. It doesn’t need to be a scary conversation. Sing along with The Wiggles or follow this dance to make learning fun. See more on handwashing here.
  • Develop a way to track how children are washing their hands and find ways to reward them for frequent/timely hand washing.
  • Use puppets or dolls to demonstrate symptoms (sneezing, coughing, fever), what to do if children feel sick (like if their head hurts, their stomach hurts, or if they feel hot or extra tired), and how to comfort someone who is sick (cultivating empathy and safe caring behaviours).
  • When it’s circle time, have children sit farther apart from one another by practicing stretching their arms out or ‘flapping their wings’ – they should keep enough space between each other so that they are not touching their friends.
source: UNICEF
  • Make sure to listen to students’ concerns and answer their questions.
  • Emphasize that students can do a lot to keep themselves and others safe. For example, introduce the concept of social distancing, and focus on good health behaviours, such as covering coughs and sneezes with the elbow and washing hands. See more on how to avoid the risk of infection here.
  • Remind students that they can share healthy behaviours with their families.
  • Encourage students to confront and prevent stigma. Discuss the reactions they may experience around discrimination, and explain that these are normal reactions in emergency situations. Encourage them to express and communicate their feelings, but also explain that fear and stigma make a difficult situation worse. Words matter, and using language that perpetuates existing stereotypes can drive people away from taking the actions they need to protect themselves. Read some do’s and don’ts for how to talk about the coronavirus with children.
  • Build students’ agency and have them promote facts about public health.
  • Incorporate relevant health education into other subjects. Science can cover the study of viruses, disease transmission and the importance of vaccinations. Social studies can focus on the history of pandemics and the evolution of policies on public health and safety.
  • Have students make their own Public Service Announcements through school announcements and poster.
  • Media literacy lessons can empower students to be critical thinkers and make them effective communicators and active citizens, which will improve their abilities to detect misinformation.
source: UNICEF
  • Make sure to listen to students’ concerns and answer their questions.
  • Emphasize that students can do a lot to keep themselves and others safe. For example, introduce the concept of social distancing, and focus on good health behaviours, such as covering coughs and sneezes with the elbow and washing hands. See more on how to avoid the risk of infection here.
  • Remind students that they can share healthy behaviours with their families.
  • Encourage students to confront and prevent stigma. Discuss the reactions they may experience around discrimination, and explain that these are normal reactions in emergency situations. Encourage them to express and communicate their feelings, but also explain that fear and stigma make a difficult situation worse. Words matter, and using language that perpetuates existing stereotypes can drive people away from taking the actions they need to protect themselves. Read some do’s and don’ts for how to talk about the coronavirus with children.
  • Build students’ agency and have them promote facts about public health.
  • Incorporate relevant health education into other subjects. Science can cover the study of viruses, disease transmission and the importance of vaccinations. Social studies can focus on the history of pandemics and the evolution of policies on public health and safety.
  • Have students make their own Public Service Announcements through school announcements and poster.
  • Media literacy lessons can empower students to be critical thinkers and make them effective communicators and active citizens, which will improve their abilities to detect misinformation.
Source: UNICEF
  • Make sure to listen to students’ concerns and answer their questions.
  • Emphasize that students can do a lot to keep themselves and others safe. For example, introduce the concept of social distancing, and focus on good health behaviours, such as covering coughs and sneezes with the elbow and washing hands. See more on how to avoid the risk of infection here.
  • Encourage students to confront and prevent stigma. Discuss the reactions they may experience around discrimination, and explain that these are normal reactions in emergency situations. Encourage them to express and communicate their feelings, but also explain that fear and stigma make a difficult situation worse. Words matter, and using language that perpetuates existing stereotypes can drive people away from taking the actions they need to protect themselves. Read some do’s and don’ts for how to talk about the coronavirus with children.
  • Incorporate relevant health education into other subjects. Science courses can cover the study of viruses, disease transmission and the importance of vaccinations. Social studies can focus on the history of pandemics and their secondary effects and investigate how public policies can promote tolerance and social cohesion.
  • Have students make their own Public Service Announcements via social media, radio or even local TV broadcasting.
  • Media literacy lessons can empower students to be critical thinkers and make them effective communicators and active citizens, which will improve their abilities to detect misinformation.
Source: UNICEF

Disinfect ypur personal items after school

When you come home after work, first disinfect your personal belonging brought to school, such as  backpacks, phones, wallets, keys, waterbottles and lunchboxs, to keep bacteria and viruses out of your house. In this unique time, you want to ensure the disinfectant you use is absolutely safe and effective against COVID19.

Vital Oxide is a disinfectant authorized by Health Canada and approved by EPA for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. It is 100% biodegradable, non-corrosive, non-hazardous, and non-irritating to the skin. No mixing and rinse required before and after use, Vital Oxide is convenient and safe to use – just spray, wipe, or fog right from the bottle.

In terms of the application method, spraying and fogging are recommended as they allow for touchless application to reduce cross-contamination. To effectively sanitize your items, you can use a spray bottle or our junor fogger for better and faster applications.

After applying the disinfectant to the items, put them aside for 10 minutes kill time and the whole disinfection process is complete.

Vital Oxide

7 Solutions in 1 Product

  • Health Canada & EPA registered hospital disinfectant
  • NSF registered food contact sanitizer
  • Mold and mildew killer
  • Allergen eliminator
  • Odour eliminator
  • HVAC & air duct sanitizer
  • Soft surface sanitizer

Foggers

  • Touchless application to reduce cross contamination
  • Better coverage of hard-to-reach areas
  • Effective and even coverage
  • Cost-effective and ecofriendly
  • Easy to operate
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COVID19: 5 Tips for Parents to Keep Children Safe When Schools Reopen

“What can I do to keep my children safe when the school reopens amid the pandemic?”

 

On July 30, the Ontario government announced its back-to-school plan to have elementary students in class five days a week come September. With the new school year approaching, parents are raising concerns about the possibility of their children being exposed to the novel coronavirus at school.

 

So, what can parents like you do to minimize the risk? In this blog, we provide 5 useful tips to get you and your kids prepared for a return to school.

Teach Children to Wear Face Masks Properly

Teach children to wear masks properly

Wearing masks can help prevent the spread of infection and prevent the individuals from contracting any airborne infectious germs. However, wearing it incorrectly can do more harm than good.


In Ontario, students from Grade 4 to 12 are required to wear masks indoor when they are back to school this fall, while kids in kindergarden through Grade 3 are encouraged to do so. Thus, to lower the risk of infection at school, teaching school-age children how to properly put on and take off a face mask is extremely important.

• Before putting on your mask, wash your hands with soap and water for at least
15 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Secure the elastic loops of the mask around your ears. If your mask has strings,
tie them securely behind your head.
• Cover your mouth and nose with the mask and make sure there are no gaps between
your face and the mask.
• Do not touch the front of the mask while you wear it. Wash your hands with soap and
water for at least 15 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if you accidentally
touch your mask.

Source: Public Health Ontario

• Do not touch the front of your mask to remove it.
• Remove the elastic loops of the mask from around your ears or untie the strings from
behind your head.
• Hold only the loops or strings and place the mask in a garbage bin with a lid.
• Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 15 seconds or use alcohol-based hand
sanitizer after you have discarded your mask.

Source: Public Health Ontario

Prepare Kids for Social Distancing at School

Prepare kids for social distancing at school

COVID19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet) for a prolonged period. Therefore, it is important to stay at least 6 feet away from others to reduce unitended exposures.

After not seeing friends for months, chilren are likely to get overexcited and interact with others without physical distancing. As a parent, you are expected to prepare your children for keeping a safe space between themselves and members of the school community.

 

Talk to your school-age children about what social distancing is and how to practise it at school to protect themselves and everyone else.

1. Call it “physical distancing”

2. Always talk to your children in language they will understand

3. Give them a chance to absorb informationa and ask questions along the way

4. Do educational activities to help children understand

 

  • Use a measuring tape or a yardstick to measure six feet of ribbon or string. Place it on the floor so everyone can learn how far six feet is. Now remove the ribbon or string and have each family member guess how long six feet is. The closest guess is the winner. This is the distance you should keep between you and other people for now.
  •  
  • Cut out people from magazines and draw an outdoor scene on a piece of paper. Glue or tape the people into positions in the scene that keep them as far apart as possible to signify social distancing.

Source: Kindercare

Disinfect Personal Belongings After School

Disinfect Personal Belongings After School

When your children come home from school, it is a must to immediately disinfect their belongings that come from outside, including backpacks, school supplies, lunchboxs, and other personal items. As these items are being used directly and constantly by kids, you want to ensure the disinfectant is absolutely safe to use and effective against COVID19.

 

Vital Oxide is a disinfectant authorized by Health Canada and approved by EPA for use against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. It is 100% biodegradable, non-corrosive, non-hazardous, and non-irritating to the skin. No mixing and rinse required before and after use, Vital Oxide is convenient and safe to use – just spray, wipe, or fog right from the bottle.

In terms of the application method, spraying and fogging are recommended as they allow for touchless application to reduce cross-contamination. To effectively sanitize the belongings , you can use a spray bottle or our junor fogger for better and faster application. 

 

After applying Vital Oxide to all the items, leave them alone for 10 minutes to let the disinfectant act and the whole disinfection process is complete.

Vital Oxide

7 Solutions in 1 Product

  • Health Canada & EPA registered hospital disinfectant
  • NSF registered food contact sanitizer
  • Mold and mildew killer
  • Allergen eliminator
  • Odour eliminator
  • HVAC & air duct sanitizer
  • Soft surface sanitizer

Foggers

  • Touchless application to reduce cross contamination
  • Better coverage of hard-to-reach areas
  • Effective and even coverage
  • Cost-effective and ecofriendly
  • Easy to operate

Don't Neglect the Soles of the Shoes

Disinfect the Soles of Shoes

The dirtiest, most-overlooked place in healthcare is the bottom of the shoes walking around it. According to 3M study, 80% of contamination entering a critical environment at floor level on feet or wheels.

 

It has been verified that the coronavirus does live on the bottom of shoes. Therefore, besides disinfecting kids’ personal items mentioned above, have children take off their shoes before entering the house, spray or fogger Vital Oxide to sanitize the soles of the shoes, and leave them alone for 10 mins to kill to minimize the risk.

Shower Right Away and Handle Laundry Carefully

To keep the coronavirus out of your home, send children for a shower and change into clean clothes right when they return home from school.

 

Although it is currently unclear how long the COVID-19 virus can survive on fabric, many items of clothing have plastic and metal elements on which it might live for a few hours to several days. Therefore, cleaning clothes properly can lower the risk.

 

    • Don’t shake dirty laundry to minimize the possibility of dispersing the virus through the air.
    • Launder items with soap or detergent, using the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely — both steps help to kill the virus.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand rub, immediately afterwards.
    • Wash or disinfect your laundry bag and hamper as well. Consider storing laundry in disposable bags.

Source: Unicef

Final Thoughts

While you are adjusting to this new normal, protecting yourself and your loved ones remains the priority in this unique situation. School reopening amid COVID19 is a new challenge faced by most parents; by following the 5 tips provided above and taking other necessary precautions, you can ensure the safety of your children at school.