Bugging Out at the Bronx Zoo

With illness always lingering, especially in a time where the H1N1 virus often makes headlines than not, Kleenex and The Motherhood partnered together to spread the word about the Battle of the Bug campaign. Last Friday, together with a group of NYC/NJ-area bloggers, I was invited to participate and learn more about the Battle of the Bug campaign.

It’s Wellness Wednesday over here on NKT, what perfect timing to share more about Kleenex’s Battle the Bug campaign.

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The Battle the Bug tour has been making its rounds and spreading the word on how to combat and avoid sickness. The tour made its way to the Bronx Zoo where we whacked bugs, got “sneezed on” and even had photo opps with the big blue bug and reinforced that ongoing battle of keeping our kids healthy.

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As families begin to fulfill their school shopping lists, it’s no doubt that boxes of tissues and hand sanitizer will find their way into many shopping carts. But in addition to the usual supplies, Kleenex tapped Jean Grabeel, to arm families with helpful tips and tactics on staying healthy all year.

Did you know

Grabeel, the Executive Committee member of the National Association of School Nurses (NASN), has been the Coordinator for Health Services for the Springfield Missouri Public Schools. Grabeel, who has been a healthcare professional for close to 30 years, highlighted a few techniques on how to Battle the Bug:

  1. Help kids understand the importance of washing hands

    • -washing in between fingers is just as important too!
  2. Teach kids the importance of covering their nose and mouths when sneezing

    • -use tissues (Kleenex’s anti-viral tissues are said to kill 99.9% of cold and flu viruses
    • -use the interior of their arm to cover nose/mouth and not their hands
  3. If kids have signs or symptoms of illness, STAY HOME

    • -signs include temperature over 100 degrees
    • -vomiting
    • -diarrhea
    • -kids should stay home until sickness and the symptoms subside.

When you sneeze, over 100,000 droplets go into the air at once at 200 mph and can reach up to 3 ft.
Knowing those details, why wouldn’t you cover your nose and mouth? Yuck!

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Grabeel noted that if kids don’t cover their noses and mouth when sneezing, it obviously increases the the possibility of spreading those nasty bugs, especially because of kids’ lack of social distancing. In your face, all the time.

The moms in attendance all asked a variety of questions, but Kimberly’s question regarding the safety of hand sanitizers caught my attention, particularly because I try to avoid alcohol-based sanitizers. Grabeel suggested that the these hand sanitizers are safe, and that even the CDC recommends using them. Though I”ll continue to use our natural sanitizers, I’ll keep in mind that the other stuff should be just fine too.

And finally, perhaps one most helpful suggestions that Grabeel offered was for parents to help keep their kids healthy is to be in communication with school health professionals. Grabeel said that school nurses and other health professionals are the best advocate for keeping our kids healthy.

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There won’t be a pop quiz later, but keeping the kidlets healthy is enough motivation to enforce the importance of battling the bug. Don’t forget: wash your hands, cover your mouths and if you’re sick, stay home!


Kleenex truck

Full disclosure: Though not affiliated with Kleenex, I was compensated for this event.

3 comments on “Bugging Out at the Bronx Zoo

  1. Their van and VW Bug are HILARIOUS! I love it! And is it wrong that I think the blue bug guy is cute?!?!

    I dread the winter months. Wasn’t bad before daycare but now that L goes, it seems like he ALWAYS has a runny nose and is running a fever every other week. I try to adhere to the “if he shows signs of sickness, keep him home” moto….unfortunately not all the other parents do though! Makes it tough for those that do b/c just when he’s getting better and I send him on back to school I see another kiddo running around his room that is clearly feeling under the weather. :( Blah.

  2. Another tip that I learned from when I worked with Anthem and their “Stan the Superbug” character about antibiotics and germs was that you should sneeze into your elbow so that you don’t spread the germs all over by sneezing into your hands and then touching things.

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