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Back-to-school season is here, and it is time to prepare for the unavoidable spread of germs that will occur as students enter campuses. It is crucial to sanitize and target the top germ hotspots to reduce the risk of illness brought about by germ contamination. As parents, it is also insightful to know about these hotspots so you can take precautionary measures against germs.
Here are the dangerous germ hotspots in schools and some tips on sanitation and prevention.
The cafeteria is teeming with countless germs. Different surfaces in the cafeteria breed harmful bacteria and viruses that could lead to sickness. Food trays and tables often only get a quick wipe down and do not get the disinfection it needs to prevent the proliferation of germs.
Students spend most of their time in the school on their desks, so it is no surprise for desks to be on this list. Desks accumulate pathogens from dirty hands, food, and other sources of hazardous germs. Also, if students do not wash their hands after using the restroom, they could bring fecal bacteria and germs from flush and door handles on their desks.
Teachers, staff, and students frequently touch door handles throughout the day. It is the perfect opportunity for germs to spread and cause illness among the entire school population. If your school does not have an automatic door system, keeping your doors open can reduce hand-to-surface contact by a significant amount.
Students touch the faucet handle after washing their hands, and it is inevitable for germs to spread. One way of mitigating this risk is integrating no-touch systems, so students do not have to touch anything before and after they wash their hands.
Drinking fountains and their handles are in constant contact with hands and sometimes even the mouths. These devices may not get the attention they deserve when it comes to sanitation, so it is the most dangerous germ hotspot in schools. It can be helpful to put up signs near the fountains to spread awareness so students will avoid touching their lips on it.
Library Equipment and Books
Library equipment such as computers and photocopiers harbor enormous amounts of harmful germs spread around by the student body. Add books to the mix, and you’ve got yourself a dangerous germ hotspot. On top of that, janitorial staff often miss these surfaces when cleaning.
Gymnasium and Sports Equipment
Just like cafeteria trays and library equipment, janitors or school staff rarely disinfect the gymnasium and sports equipment every after use. Imagine the sweat, bodily fluids, and hands these surfaces come in contact with daily.
Sanitation Tips and Precautionary Measures
Before illnesses start to spread, schools should implement precautionary measures and hygiene education to prevent an outbreak. Here are some times and guidelines you can follow to make your school safer for the teachers, staff, and students.
- Hand Sanitizers – Placing pump sanitizers near germ hotspots will help reduce the spread of germs. Encourage the students to sanitize their hands before and after touching these surfaces.
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- Post Signs in Easy-to-See Places – This is to remind students to wash their hands after using the restroom, avoid touching their lips on the water fountain, avoid eating in the library, etc. Putting up signs in these places helps encourage students to follow the best hygiene practices. You may also include a proper handwashing guide near sinks.
- Encourage Students to Bring Their Own Sanitizing Wipes – Having a pack of hand wipes at the ready is crucial in protecting their health. They can use the wipes to sanitize surfaces such as computers, tables, school supplies, and other surfaces that frequently come in contact with hands.
- Hire a Professional Cleaning Service – These companies provide people who are experts in maintaining clean and germ-free establishments. They have the necessary tools that help them keep your school safe from germs and germ-related illnesses.
- Automate Systems – Replacing your old water fountain or sink faucet with a no-touch mechanism or a foot pedal will eliminate the need for touching these surfaces. You can also replace your doors with automatic doors that have sensors.
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