A friend of mine with two small school-aged kids informed me the other day that one of her special munchkins had brought ... something home and infected her with it. It got so bad my friend ended up at the doctor, where she was informed she had pneumonia and was given a bunch of medicine and suffered two shots to where the sun doesn’t shine.

This was maybe two weeks into the school year, so it’s off to a coughing, retching good start.

Being a good, empathetic friend, I immediately told her if she got within 50 feet of me, I was calling the CDC. But I like to help out where I can, so when I recently came across an article, on Redbook Magazine’s website no less, about where the germs are hiding at in your child’s school, I thought I’d pass them along so she could tell her special little people who keep her sick from August to May how to do extra cleaning.

  • Desks. Of course. I mean, that’s where kids spend most of their time when they’re in school. And if they’re old enough, they’ll be changing classes and sitting at desks where anywhere from 2-5 kids have also sat at. Just the thought of it gives me the heebee jeebies now, but when I was in school, I thought nothing of putting my head down face first on a desk and breathing in whatever wonderful things were living there.
  • Computer keyboard. These didn’t exist when I was in school (back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth), but we had typing class, otherwise known as where you went to ogle girls and catch a nap. Yes, by putting your face right on a keyboard that had been punched by so many people suffering from God knows what.
  • Sinks. I don’t remember much about sinks in school, but water fountains were the worst. We all put our mouths on them and sucked the water through the pipes, because it just wasn’t coming out fast enough! Especially after recess.
  • Waste baskets. Or, as we called them so long ago, trash cans. I mean, yeah, Nothing good goes into a trash can. What do you expect?
  • Doorknobs and handles. A problem that will follow you throughout life. Might as well teach the kids about it now.
  • Books. Ha! Like anybody reads books nowadays other than nerdy losers! Am I right? But really, isn’t everything on tablets now? Nobody tells me anything.
  • Toys. For the younger set, I imagine. Though I had some cool Star Wars toys in high school. I’ve said too much.
  • Art supplies. Do they still teach art in schools? I thought art was done away with to build better football stadiums?
  • Gym equipment. Now we’re talking! It’s covered in sweat and the vomit of smart, skinny kids with undiagnosed anxiety. I’m surprised the plague hasn’t reemerged because of school gymnasiums.
  • Playground equipment. All I remember about the instruments of death we had back when the Earth was still forming is they were all metal and, no matter what time of year it was, they were scorching hot. I think most of it’s made of plastic now, though I could be wrong.
  • Water fountains. Ah, here we go. See sinks up above. Or off to the side. However this ended up being laid out.
  • Cafeteria trays. Yeah, these could be walking death traps. I stopped eating lunch in high school because, well, reasons, but after reading they contain more bacteria than a toilet seat, I’m glad I did.
  • Bathrooms. Well, yeah. I mean, do you know what happens in school bathrooms?
  • Pet habitats. It never happened in my 11 ½ years of school (I graduated early ... yeah), but some classes do have pets and surprisingly, a pet in a cage can cause a mess.
  • Pencil sharpeners. Wait, there are still pencil sharpeners? Do they still hang on the wall so you can turn while your sharpening and make faces at your buddies, getting them to laugh so the teacher would have to give you the “look?”

There you have it. The 15 things that will guarantee your kids will keep you sick through all the months with long names. Most of it is things you or your kids can’t do anything about. So just keep you hands washed as best you can and if you live close enough, make the young’uns walk home. The cold will surely kill all the germs by the time they get there.

Or you might end up having to get some shots where the sun doesn’t shine.

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