PARSIPPANY, N.J., Sept. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Every year, the common cold results in 22 million lost days of school for students, as a result of the 2.2 million cases of the common cold that affect Americans under the age of 17 annually. Yet, a reduction in absenteeism within schools can take place when a proper hygiene routine, like hand washing, is implemented.
As students across the country head back to school, LYSOL®, a Reckitt Benckiser brand, has partnered with the National Education Association (NEA) and National PTA to launch the Healthy Habits Program – a concerted effort to reinforce the important practice of healthy habits – such as regular hand washing - in school and at home. The highlight of this initiative will be the inaugural Healthy Habits Week, which kicks off on September 23.
LYSOL®, the NEA and National PTA have created a robust online portal and program toolkit – with health messages from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – that contains resources for parents and teachers to engage students on health in interesting ways. This includes a variety of materials, such as ready-to-use, standardized lesson plans, tips for teaching good hygiene in both the classroom and at home and a parent activity calendar– all available at www.healthyhabitsprogram.com.
"As part of our Mission for Health, keeping students healthy is a key priority for LYSOL, which involves working with partners as committed as we are to help reduce sick days and keep students healthy in the classroom where they can learn and succeed," said Marketing Director Gregory Chabidon. "Through the Healthy Habits Program, it is our hope that teachers and families will have the tools they require to help students understand the importance of adopting good health routines, and most importantly, make them want to stick with those habits."
As part of this initiative, LYSOL® will also launch the first-ever Healthy Habits TourSM, centered on a unique, customized school bus that makes germs more understandable and real for elementary school students. Through a series of interactive stations, students learn how germs can make them sick and how thorough hand washing and other healthy habits can help to keep them well. The tour will visit schools throughout the country starting in September.
Visit www.healthyhabitsprogram.com for more information about the Healthy Habits Program, and the Healthy Habits Tour™.
About Reckitt Benckiser
Reckitt Benckiser (RB) is a global consumer goods leader in health, hygiene and home. With a purpose of delivering innovative solutions for healthier lives and happier homes, RB is in the top 25 of companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. Since 2000 net revenues have doubled and the market cap has quadrupled. Today, it is the global No. 1 or No. 2 in the majority of its fast-growing categories, driven by an exceptional rate of innovation. Its health, hygiene and home portfolio is led by 19 global powerbrands including Nurofen, StrepsilsGaviscon, Mucinex, Durex, Scholl, Lysol, Dettol, Clearasil, Veet, Harpic, Bang, Mortein, Finish, Vanish, Woolite, Calgon, Airwick, and French's, and they account for 70 percent of net revenue.
RB people are at the heart of the company's success. They have an intense drive for action and a desire to outperform wherever they focus, including in CSR where the company is reducing its carbon footprint by 20 percent by 2020 and has a global partnership with Save the Children.
The company has operations in over 60 countries, with headquarters in the UK, Singapore, Dubai and Amsterdam, and sales in almost 200 countries. The company employs about 32,000 people worldwide.
For more information, visit www.rb.com
 CDC, Adolescent and School Health. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/infectious/index.htm. Last accessed March 2013
 SNAP Healthy Schools, Healthy People. Statistics. Available at: http://www.itsasnap.org/snap/statistics.asp. Last accessed Dec 2012
 Meadows, Emily, Le Saux, Nicole. A systematic review of the effectiveness of antimicrobial rinse-free hand sanitizers for prevention of illness-related absenteeism in elementary school children. 2004
SOURCE Reckitt Benckiser