Actress Ali Larter and Lysol Challenged Fourth Graders to Use Science to Fight Classroom Germs

by Meredith Cooper

PARSIPPANY, N.J. -- This back to school season, Ali Larter – star of Fox’s hit new show Pitch and mother of two, – partnered with Lysol® to educate students about the importance of practicing simple, yet effective behaviors – healthy habits – that help prevent the spread of germs.  According to the CDC, millions of school days are missed each year due to common, preventable illnesses such as the cold and flu.

Lysol and Larter challenged a group of fourth grade students from the Madison Square Boys and Girls Club in New York City to use the scientific method to uncover and eliminate the germs found on classroom surfaces. The students showcased their findings and solutions to reduce germ spread, such as regular handwashing, during a special science fair event in October.

Ali Larter is sharing her own healthy habits tips and how she helps keep her own family healthy during the back to school and cold & flu seasons with parents across the nation:

  1. Help create a cleaner classroom. The first thing my son does when he gets home from school is toss his backpack on the floor or countertop. Knowing that the backpack has been everywhere, I regularly disinfect it to prevent outside bacteria and viruses from coming into our home. To help combat the spread of germs in the classroom, it is important to supply your child’s teacher with disinfecting products like Lysol Disinfecting Wipes, which are now eligible for Box Tops for Education redemption, to help create a healthier learning environment one clean surface at a time.
  2. Pillow time is important. Getting children to bed can sometimes be a struggle, but school-aged children need at least 10 hours of sleep every day1. Create a routine with your kids so they look forward to bedtime. My routine is dinner, bath, books, and then bed. Mornings can be hectic so I make sure we are prepared for the next school day by packing tomorrow’s lunch box and setting out an outfit the night before, aiming for stress and struggle-free mornings.
  3. Cover up. An important healthy habit to help stop the spread of germs is to teach our kids proper cough and sneeze etiquette. Show your children how to use the crook of their elbow to cover their coughs and sneezes. If a sneeze does manage to escape before covering up, encourage children to wash their hands immediately while you disinfect nearby surfaces to kill lingering germs.
  4. Whistle while you work. Did you know that children can touch and retouch over 300 surfaces in just 30 minutes2? As parents, we need to make sure our kids are washing their hands regularly to prevent the spread of germs. Whether you create your own dance routine or have your kids sing the “happy birthday” song twice – make sure they are scrubbing with warm water and soap for at least twenty seconds.
  5. Take a timeout. While we may not want our children to miss out on learning, to stop the spread of illness from classmate to classmate, make sure you keep your children home when they are feeling under the weather. Build a strong connection with their teachers and other parents so when your child has to stay home from school because they are not feeling well, they are not missing out.
  6. Disinfect for a healthier home. Every night before I go to bed I quickly disinfect commonly touched surfaces throughout my home, like counters, doorknobs, remote controls and computer keyboards. Help stop the spread of germs in their tracks by regularly disinfecting surfaces around the home, especially when someone is sick. Think of the places your family touches the most, like light switches, railings and remotes, and use a disinfecting product like Lysol Disinfecting Wipes or Lysol Disinfectant Spray to kill 99.9% of germs on those surfaces.

1 NIH. “How Much Sleep Is Enough?”; Accessed August 2016

2 US National Library of Medicine. “Survival of influenza viruses on environmental surfaces”; Published July 1982