Back-to-School Shopping: Pandemic Edition

by | Updated: October 14th, 2020 | Read time: 3 minutes

August is here and you know what means. It’s time to shop for school supplies! But this year’s list may look a bit different than those of years past. After all, we’re in the middle of a pandemic.

If your child is heading back to the classroom this fall, you might want to supplement the colored pencils, spiral notebooks and pocket folders with the following supplies:

Face coverings

Parasol 4-Layer Disposable Respiratory Protective Face Mask |

Whether you choose disposable face masks, the reusable fabric variety or a face shield, wearing a face covering indoors (and outdoors when social distancing isn’t possible) can help contain droplets and slow the spread of COVID-19. Tip: Pack a backup mask in case he or she loses the first one!

Eye protection

Female Student Wearing Face and Eye Protection in School |

According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, Coronavirus can be spread through the eyes. Therefore, if your child wears contact lenses, he or she may want to switch to eyeglasses for the foreseeable future. And, if they have perfect vision, you still might want to invest in a pair of non-prescription glasses or goggles.

Liquid soap

Earth Friendly ECOS® Free & Clear Hand Soap |

Washing hands regularly with soap and water is one of the most effective ways to eliminate germs and reduce the spread of COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Sending your child to school with hand soap not only eliminates the need for sharing, it allows you to choose a gentle, non-irritating variety, which is important given how frequently your son or daughter will be washing their hands. Tip: Store the soap in a resealable plastic bag in case it leaks.

Hand sanitizer

Brittanie's Thyme Organic Hand Sanitizer |

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration recommends using a hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent ethyl alcohol to help combat Coronavirus if soap and water aren’t readily available. This could come in handy (pun intended!) while your son or daughter is rushing to and from class or trying to avoid a crowded restroom.

Disinfecting wipes

Viloe Antibacterial Wipes |

Sure, the school will likely have these on hand, but it won’t hurt to send your son or daughter with extras. Tip: Purchase a large package and place a few wipes in a resealable plastic bag. Refill as needed.

Reusable water bottle

New Wave Enviro Safe Sporter |

Water fountains are temporarily off limits at many schools across the country. Reusable water bottles can help ensure your child stays hydrated throughout the day. Tip: The larger the bottle, the less often he or she will need to refill it!

Disposable gloves

Kroger® Home Sense® Disposable Latex Gloves |

These probably won’t appear on any school-issued supply lists, but it’s not a bad idea to toss a few pairs of disposable gloves into your child’s backpack in case he or she feels the need for extra protection during the school day.

Pocket tissues

NooTrees Bamboo Pulp Pocket Tissue |

If your child has a pack of tissues on hand, he or she won’t have to share with classmates. And the less frequent the sharing, the less likely the chance of contracting infections like Coronavirus. Tip: Encourage your child to use a tissue when rubbing his or her eyes for added safety.

General safety tips for students

Remind your star student to:

  • Wear a face covering over the mouth and nose when indoors (and outdoors if distancing is not possible)
  • Wash their hands regularly (for at least 20 seconds) with soap and water or sanitizer
  • Avoid contact with anyone who is exhibiting signs of sickness
  • Avoid touching their mouth, nose and eyes with unwashed hands
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces (e.g., desks, computers) as necessary
  • Tell a teacher/go to the nurse’s office if they start to feel sick