Your children’s classroom is their home away from home. It’s where they learn, play, and grow. And although the classroom is a very special place for students, it’s not a perfect place — schools are almost always hotbeds for germs. With a large number of children in a relatively small space, there is an extremely high number of germs in schools. Unfortunately these germs get your children sick and in turn your entire family sick when they return home. Here’s what you need to know about the germs in your children’s classroom — as well as how to reduce them and prevent illnesses.
Germs in Schools: What You Need to Know
Fast Facts About Germs in Schools
- According to WebMD, cold season hits right during the school year — September to March/April.
- Younger students are more susceptible to viruses than older ones: WebMD notes that kindergarteners experience about 12 colds in a year, while adolescents have only two to four in the same time span.
- On average, students come in contact with about 152,300 germs while they’re at school. The culprit with the most germs? No, it’s not the bathroom — it’s actually students’ plastic cafeteria trays.
Reducing the Number of Germs in Classrooms
To reduce the number of germs in schools and keep young scholars happy and healthy, implement the following five tips:
1. Encourage frequent and thorough hand-washing.
Parents, ask your children to wash their hands often throughout the day and to use hand sanitizer periodically. They should be scrubbing their whole hands and wrists for a full 30 seconds with hot water and soap. Encourage this habit at home so it carries over into their routine at school. During the school day, teachers and other staff members should ask students to scrub their hands before lunch/snack time, after using the restroom, and after recess. If you’re concerned about this, check to see if your child’s school has a hand-washing policy.
2. Don’t send sick kids to school.
If you have a sick child, sending them to school won’t do anyone any favors. Your child likely won’t be able to focus as well, so he or she is only spreading germs to classmates and school staff. Keep sick children at home until they’re feeling better so their germs don’t affect the whole class, teachers, or possibly create an epidemic throughout the entire school.
3. Keep children vaccinated.
One of the best ways to reduce the number of germs in schools is to prevent them right from the start. By keeping your children up to date with their cold and flu vaccines, you can prevent them from getting sick in the first place. Many local clinics (and even some schools) offer and promote these shots before cold and flu season hits.
4. Donate disinfecting products to your children’s classroom.
Whether or not they will admit it, many teachers purchase extra classroom supplies with their own paychecks. You can do them a favor and help reduce the number of germs in the classroom by purchasing and donating disinfecting products. Wipes, sprays, hand sanitizers, and disinfectant germ foggers all make for great classroom donations.
5. Keep disinfecting products handy in the classroom.
Finally, if you’re a teacher, be sure to keep disinfecting products, like hand sanitizers and wipes, handy in the classroom. Teach your students about the importance of washing their hands regularly, and encourage them to do so throughout the day. In addition, consider using a disinfecting fogger regularly in the classroom and school facilities. After your normal cleaning routine, when the classroom is empty, or at the end of the week, simply activate the fogger, wait 1-2 hours and return to a fresh smelling space that contains 99% less germs.
Germs in schools are an unfortunate truth: There’s never going to be a germ-free classroom. But by understanding how to reduce germs in the classroom and protecting students from them, you can create safer and healthier schools.
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