Whether you’re a parent or teacher, keeping children healthy can be a challenge when they’re in school. Educational institutions are hot zones for germs and common illnesses such as the cold and flu, which can spread quickly among kids when they’re in close contact with each other. Approximately 22 million school days are lost yearly to the common cold. Here are the germiest spots of which your bright students should be wary while traveling the halls at school.
Coughs, sneezes, and unwashed hands spread micro-organisms that settle on student desks and other surfaces. These microbes often come from human sources, such as the skin, mouth, and gut. When several classes use the same room every day, desks could become handy vehicles for exposing pupils to one another’s germs. Staphylococcus aureus — a bacteria present on about 8% of classroom desks — often causes conjunctivitis or pink eye, a common school-borne illness. Proper, daily desk sanitation is the critical defense against disease-causing organisms and may shrink absenteeism among learners and faculty.
The lunchroom is another germ-teeming hotspot in educational institutions. When students gather in the lunchroom, there’s a good chance they are passing cell phones, swapping snacks, and contaminating their lunch trays with germy fingers. According to one study, a plastic reusable cafeteria tray measured 33,800 colony-forming units (CFU) of bacteria per square inch while a cafeteria plate measured 15,800 CFU per square inch. That’s more than 10 times the amount of bacteria on a school toilet seat!
Moreover, food packed in paper bags can naturally spoil before lunchtime. Meals should be refrigerated in insulated lunch boxes that are regularly cleaned with disinfectant wipes to lower the chance of food-borne illnesses. The hallways are another breeding ground for various contaminants. Drinking fountains are the ideal spot for kids to consume micro-organisms when they put their mouths on the stream of water or on the spigot. Researchers found that a water fountain spigot contained an average of 2.7 million colony-forming units of bacteria per square inch. Stairway railings are also constantly caressed by children’s grimy hands and rarely cleaned properly, making them a common touchpoint for harboring microbes.
Even if a classroom is cleaned overnight, germs can collect all day. To eliminate bacteria, it’s serious to teach children proper hand hygiene, as well as disinfect school items. It’s also recommended that learners stay home from school if they are ill. For more information on the germiest places and objects in an education institution, take a look at the accompanying infographic.
Author bio: Juan Padilla is the founder of Spotless Cleaning Chicago, an office and commercial cleaning company. With several years of experience in the cleaning industry, his focus is on improving the janitorial industry and helping other small businesses understand their customers and how to succeed.
The 10 Germiest Places In Your School created by Spotless Cleaning Chicago.