As students have returned to school for in-person instruction, educators and parents alike are concerned about kids being able to create connections again with their classmates. Lysol wants to assuage those worries from parents’ minds by showing how simple (and safe) it is to practice healthy habits that will keep schools cleaner — and kids more content. The Bachelor’s Catherine Lowe (and mom of three) has teamed up with Lysol for their HERE for Healthy Schools Initiative, which helps kids share stories (and make memories) at the lunch table.
Catherine, let’s talk about your work with Lysol and its HERE for Healthy Schools initiative.
I’ve been a very committed Lysol customer for a very long time. But specifically for this campaign, HERE for Healthy Schools, it’s so important that kids are back in school, and that Lysol is helping these communities of schools clean their tables and that the surfaces that the students are touching aren’t in the minds of the students. They want them to be there and be present and have connections with other kids. Those are the moments we’ve really missed over the last couple of years. So this campaign is so important to me and my family because I don’t want it to affect us in that way anymore, and what Lysol is doing is making sure that kids are learning, growing, and connecting.
Exactly. We want kids to play and interact. So you don’t want them to go into school and the first thing they think is, “If I touch this, am I going to get sick?” It takes away a fear that they shouldn’t have at this age.
Yes, and that’s something else that Lysol is doing, their Little Big Talks series. It is the cutest thing to see kids in their natural element, to be having conversations and being silly with their classmates. We know that this has been something that’s been on their minds for the past couple of years, but what’s important are the connections, because that’s how they learn, especially in terms of social cues; that’s how they learn so many things. The Little Big Talks is like being a fly on the wall of those conversations and allows them to have safe, healthy connections at the table.
When I had my first cafeteria duty for my kid’s kindergarten, you see these kids without the parents or teachers looking over and it’s just them being themselves. It’s such a precious moment that you want to protect. If you check out the videos, it makes me laugh and cry because I’m so happy that we’re all together again.
I know that for the initiative, Lysol was going to donate 28 million disinfecting wipes to schools in need.
They’ve rolled out the 28 million and they’ve also done more for the frontline workers, and they’ve done under resourced schools. So I think total they’ve donated 42 million. I’ve donated to my school, too. I think it’s such a great, practical thing to help our teachers and assist them in knowing that we’re in this together.
It’s good when kids see their parents using it at home, too, so they know that it’s not something that’s just done at school.
Creating healthy habits definitely starts at home. We want them to be washing their hands all the time; we want them to be sneezing into their elbows. We shouldn’t be relying on the teachers to teach those healthy habits. These should be everyday things that we take beyond the school, like when you’re going on a field trip. It starts at home, so parents should buy their wipes and having them clean up and wash their hands and do what they can do as young ones and then obviously incorporate that when you have older children.
What are some of your specific healthy habits at home?
Washing hands is super important. Staying hydrated really helps a lot and taking their vitamins, too. Incorporating things that we do as adults; I mean, I just got out of the baby phase. My kids are 6,4, and 2. There were things that didn’t apply but now they do because they’re in school, like washing hands or cleaning up after themselves. I think with boys that’s going to be something that we remind them more of. “Did you wash your hands?” “Did you wash them with soap?” “Did you dry them?” “Where did you put the towel, because the towel is always on the floor and it’s always wet!” [laughs] We just keep encouraging them, because it doesn’t come naturally to children, so it’s our responsibility to remind them and help them do it in a loving way.
Okay, Halloween is coming up next week. You have 3 kids. Do you have their costumes?
You know it’s so funny, I asked them yesterday because I’ve been kind of behind on things. I just got back from Hawaii so I’ve been ramping up on things and we decided what we are going to be yesterday. I bought mine and my husband’s costumes. I also have a huge costume bin full of wigs and other costumes from when they were babies. We went to a Halloween party on Sunday and I said, “Okay, well, just be whatever you want to be in there!” So for this year, Samuel is obsessed with DJ Marshmello; he has some really good songs and he knows which ones are not appropriate for him because they have the “E” so he can’t listen to the explicit ones. So that one’s easy; I just have to find a helmet and a white outfit. Then my daughter wants to be a mermaid, and I’m not surprised. I thought I’d have a tomboy girl because she has brothers but she’s really girly, and she wants pink hair or red. So I’m going to do chalk in her hair. And Isaiah wants to be Thor, which is a new development. [laughs] That was my first time hearing that, and Halloween is next week; it’s on Monday!
Yeah but you know I think it’s good to buy Halloween costumes at the last minute because if you buy them too early, they change their minds. My 5-year-old wanted to be a Power Ranger and I was like, “No problem. Done.” But now he’s worn the costume a few times around the house and it’s not new anymore and he wants to be something else. I was like, “Dude, that’s what you’re wearing.” Now, are you and Sean dressing up, too?
Yes! We’re going to be the SNL cheerleaders, because our natural height difference helps. It’s not about us in this; we’re just going to be playing along. Last year we were a circus family, so we all wore circus costumes. I prefer to do things as a family, but now they’re getting older and they want to pick, so we have to do it piecemeal, which is okay.
Isn’t that annoying, though? I have to bribe them now to wear family costumes.
I know! [laughs] If Halloween isn’t the time to bribe; we already have all this candy around.
What do you have going on workwise?
Well, I’ve been working with this charity and our benefit is next week, so that’s very top-of-mind. It’s for the homeless here in Dallas and it’s called Our Calling. I still work as a stationery and gifting company so that’s ramping up for the holidays. There’s a lot going on, and we also just moved, so there’s a lot of new things I’m getting used to, traditions at school that I’m getting used to, and all the expectations that come with a new school district. But everyone has been so lovely and welcoming and friendly and helpful so I feel like I’m in a great place. There’s a lot of stuff and it’s not going to stop because it’s the holidays, so I’ll breathe in January and then I’ll sleep in 10 years when my kids are older!