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Back to School Shopping: PPE Edition

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In terms of consumer spending, the back-to-school shopping season is only second to the holiday season. During the weeks and days before schools start up, parents scour store aisles filled with paper products, writing utensils, backpacks, gym clothing, and device accessories like laptop bags.

But this year, due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, back-to-school shopping is including items like face masks, mask lanyards, and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Many parents don’t know whether their kids will be sitting in a classroom, at home in front of a computer, or doing a combination of both.

Although back-to-school shopping is always hectic, current circumstances have now made the whole process more daunting than ever.

To help you ensure that you don’t forget the necessary items to keep your child safe when they return to campus, here’s a list of essential personal protective equipment (PPE) products that you need to have on your shopping list.

Face Covering

Over half the country now requires all residents, including kids, to wear a mask in public spaces where social distancing is not possible or difficult. And since students are usually in enclosed rooms at school, face masks are a necessity.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when shopping for face masks for your child:

  • They must fit snugly and comfortably against their face
  • They must be secured with ties or ear loops
  • They must have multiple layers of fabric (a dual-layer mask, which includes both a heavyweight cotton layer and a lighter cotton layer is the most effective design)
  • They must allow for breathing without restriction
  • They must be washable without resulting in damage or shape change

And just because your child has to wear a face mask, it doesn’t mean they have to sacrifice their sense of individual style. From a rainbow of colors to chic patterns to designs based on your favorite superhero, you can be sure to find a face mask that your child would be happy to step out in.

Be sure to also add face mask lanyards to your back-to-school shopping list. Face mask lanyards help ensure that your child never forgets their face masks at home. Plus, face mask lanyards keep your mask close at hand, so your child doesn’t have to fumble around their backpacks or dig into their pockets to grab it, which could possibly risk contamination.

face mask lanyards in a variety of colors

At Specialist ID, we offer face mask lanyards in a variety of colors and that come with either bulldog clips or hook attachments. We also offer face mask lanyards that are sold individually, in packs of five, or in packs of 25. So whether you need just one for your child, a few to give to each family member, or a large pack in case you feel that you might ever need spares, we’ve got you covered.

Hand Sanitizer

Although hand sanitizer isn’t necessarily PPE, it’s highly recommended to pair the use of sanitizer alongside PPE items.

Be careful when it comes to choosing which hand sanitizer to purchase. According to the FDA, some hand sanitizers are contaminated with 1-propanol, which is a toxic and potentially life threatening alcohol when ingested. These hand sanitizers are most dangerous to young children, who might accidentally swallow the product. Ingesting 1-propanol can lead to central nervous system depression, which can be deadly.

Other brands of hand sanitizer contain methanol, which is a wood-alcohol that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin.

To find out what specific hand sanitizer products to avoid, you can check out the full list of 149 items on the FDA’s website.

Refillable Water Bottle

Also not a PPE item, but like hand sanitizer, it’s an essential product to have on your list.

Why does your child need a refillable water bottle?

Well, normally, there would be no issue with students sharing a drinking fountain. But, although there is no clear evidence that COVID-19 can be passed from the water coming from a drinking fountain itself, the virus may linger on surfaces. So it’s recommended to avoid fountains if you can, or limit any direct contact when using them.

Refillable water bottles allow your child to stay hydrated, while reducing their risk of contracting COVID-19.

Air Purifiers for College Dorms

At most colleges, dorm rooms are relatively small indoor spaces that are shared between students. These are the types of conditions under which transmission of COVID-19 is believed to be most likely. As a result, it’s important to take steps to reduce the load of the virus in the air.

High-quality HEPA air purifiers can capture many virus-sized particles through a diffusion phenomenon. Some units also include UV germicidal lamps, which leverage UV-C radiation to kill bacteria, viruses and other biological contaminants.

The back-to-school season is always a frantic time for parents. But the age of COVID has made this year’s shopping season so much more stressful. As parents walk around aisles of your typical school supplies and dorm essentials, they also have to consider adding items to keep their kids safe from the virus on their list. And face masks with face mask lanyards, hand sanitizers, refillable water bottles, and air purifiers for dorm rooms are essentials that must be included.

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