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EDC for Students

EDCI always say that being an educator would be the best job if it wasn’t for the parents, teachers and students.  All kidding aside, this week I would add germs to that statement.  Students were dropping like flies!  Call after call came over the radio for clean ups in classrooms.  Some of these kids came to school not feeling well.  Why would parents send these kids to school?  Some lost their lunch, literally, as the day progressed.  I immediately went into protection mode, started hitting the hands with hand sanitizer and washing every chance I could.  The nurse sent out a reminder email to teachers and let her supervisor know.  It just reminded me of how easy the little buggers could attack us and send the best of us running  for the trashcan.

I helped retrieve one of the student’s backpacks who was going home.  As I was searching the backpack cabinet, I noticed that one little pink backpack had some hand sanitizer clipped to it.  I started to think about Every Day Carry (EDC) for students and some of the items that parents could place in their backpacks in case they ever needed it.  Of course, a student’s EDC is going to look a lot different than an adults…with all the laws and adults who freak out at the slightest idea that something useful could be used for evil.  Here are some ideas if you have school age children.  Some of these ideas will double as EDC items to carry and some of these items can be considered only during the cold and flu season.

1. Hand Sanitizer – I’ve already mentioned this above.  It is not the end all to protect from germs and such, but I would rather have this than nothing at all.

2. Bottle of Water – One should be left in your child’s backpacks for emergencies, but during the cold and flu season, they should have one to drink water from.  It is not a good idea to touch the water fountain.  Most custodians clean the water fountains every evening, but they don’t get wiped down during  the day.  Your child should only drink from their own bottle.

3. Tissue – Most classrooms have tissues available, but the less your child needs to touch other items in the classroom the better.

4. Pencil Box w/ extra Crayons, Colored Pencils, Glue, Scissors and Pencils – Yes, you already bought school supplies.  But in reality, these items are super cheap if you buy them at the big box stores when school starts.  I’ve purchased Crayola Crayon boxes for .25/each.  The issue here is that you don’t want to have your child borrowing supplies from others.  They should have their own for their own use.  T his will help mitigate the spread of germs.  See the side story.  Talk with your child’s teacher and let them know your expectations that they use their own school supplies to not spread germ.

5. Granola Bars, Fruit Roll-Ups or some other type of snack – Buses run late or have engine problems, parents sometimes run late, lunches get forgotten, etc…  It’s just a good idea to have some extra snacks. Having a little bit of food can help an anxious kid relax a bit.

6. Phone Numbers – The school will have important numbers, but it is a good idea to have a list of important numbers, emergency numbers, etc…

7. A Few Band-Aids – Schools will have this too, but why not put a few in the EDC?

8. Flashlight – They are cheap and will give some legitimacy to the “important,” or “special” place in your child’s backpack.

9. Change of Clothes – This is common practice for our Kindergarten students.  But it might be a great idea to have an extra t-shirt or socks.

10. Baby Wipes – Maybe I’m stretching it here…trying to get the list to an even #10.  But in all honesty, I carry some in my backpack.  From cleaning up a small stain from spilled coffee to wiping off a face or any other time a wet towel is needed, this is a great item to carry.

I think it is important to talk to your child about all the items in their EDC.  They should know why they are carrying the specific items and when they should be used.  They need to know that the EDC is not something they dig into every week or whenever they want.  They should use the items in only “important” or “special” times.  You’ll have to decide when those times are.  And let me tell you that children, even at a very young age, can tell you why they have the items they are carrying and when they should use them.  See the VID below.

Side Note about Germs – When I was a classroom teacher, every year I would tell this little story around the cold and flu season to remind students to wash their hands and not share pencils, etc…

“Billy is sitting in class and has the sniffles.  He doesn’t realize it yet, but he is going to get sick.  He wipes his nose with his hand, picks up his pencil and continues to work on his worksheet like a good student.  After a few minutes, he puts down his pencil and gets up to get a tissue.  While he is up, Sally’s pencil breaks and she returns it to the table tub to get sharpened.  Since there isn’t another sharpened pencil, she picks up the one on the desk that she didn’t realize belonged to Billy.  She starts working like a good student, but now the germs passed from Billy’s nose to his hands to the pencil to Sally’s hands.

As Sally is working, she yawns and rubs her eyes.  The germs have now traveled from Billy’s nose to his hands to his pencil to Sally’s hands to her eyes.  Later, at lunch, Sally eats the great sandwich her mom made for her.  The germs have now passed from Billy’s nose to his hands to his pencil to Sally’s hands to her sandwich to her mouth.  Now the germs are in Sally’s body and she will get sick too.”

Of course, students were all “yuck” and “gross” and stuff.  But it drove home the germ issue for a little bit…I stress a little bit.  Students need to continually be reminded to wash their hands and keep their hands on their own supplies.

Peace,
Todd

 

This article first appeared on Ed That Matters.

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Todd Sepulveda

I'm the owner/editor of Prepper Website, a DAILY preparedness aggregator that links to the best preparedness articles on the internet. I'm also a public school administrator and a pastor. My personal blog is Ed That Matters, where I write about preparedness and from time to time, education. Connect with me on one of my social media outlets below.

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6 comments to EDC for Students

  • Andrew C

    I don’t think that this list should be called “EDC students” as college or high school students are responsible enough to carry much more useful (as well as school friendly) items than on this list.

    • Todd

      Andrew, get a grip! Anyone reading the article would know that it was directed to elementary-high school students. High school, heck for that matter, there are many elementary students that might be responsible, but that doesn’t matter in the eyes of school districts or even the law (when talking about knives of certain sizes). Every Day Carry is Every Day Carry no matter what you are carrying!

      Todd

  • Mars

    In Texas, the district that I live in, they actually penalize students that don’t come to school by having parties and giveaways.(ipod, tablet, etc) So, as a result, my daughter catches bugs. It irritates me because I don’t send her to school when she is ill. I don’t want her to be stuck at school feeling miserable and I don’t want her getting any other children sick. This seems like common sense to me, but the school has no problem bringing in a dj for their party and making all the kids that stayed home sick working quietly in the library. I started sending hand sanitizer to school with her when the swine flu was going around. We actually had a few students at other schools here come down with it. I’ve been thinking about an EDC for her and my older son to have on them everyday so this is definitely lighting a fire under me to get it done.

    • Todd

      Mars,

      I feel your pain on the parties, etc… We actually have that at our school too. Not with Ipods, etc…, but with the opportunity to have a popcorn party or an extra recess. I don’t want to make excuses, but the reason schools do that is because of funding. If a student isn’t at school, the district doesn’t get funds for that student on that day. I will say that my principal does stress to students that if they are really sick, we want them to stay home. You wouldn’t imagine the amount of parents who just don’t send their students to school because they are lazy or sleep late and then don’t want to get up and bring them.

      I don’t think this is as much of a problem as parents who send their students to school sick! Their child runs a fever, they give them some Tylenol and send them to school. A few hours later they are running a fever again. This happens more than you can imagine! Kudos to you for keeping your child at home when they are sick. That is what ever responsible parent should do! So thank you!

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