7 Unhealthy Places in Your School

Schools are full of “hot spots” for germs and bacteria. Keep your school and students healthy by focusing on these 7 places.

Let’s start with the bathroom door, even though the bathroom is cleaned on a regular basis the bathroom door is another story.  Not all kids wash their hands like they should, so when they leave the bathroom it could be hazardous to your health.  A bathroom door should be considered a “high touch point” and should be part of the daily cleaning protocol. When cleaning the bathroom door remember to disinfect the door jam as well, many times students will run their hand across the door jam as they leave a room causing the transfer of germs and bacteria to others.

Another item that gets passed by is the cafeteria tray which rarely gets wiped off let alone disinfected. With a variety of food and students touching them they can be a hot dwelling point for some serious germs.  Kitchen staff should wash and sanitize the lunch trays after each day’s use to keep down the spread of germs and bacteria. Again another “high touch point “ in a school environment.

How about sack lunches? Typically the contents of a sack lunch will spoil before lunchtime. Packed food should be refrigerated in an insulated lunch box with frozen ice packs in the box to freeze any juice boxes. Doing this will reduce the number of food-borne illnesses which in turn will keep the school building safer from the transfer of illness. Typically once a child becomes sick in school the chances of spreading bacteria germs and viruses triple.

Students spend most of their time at their desk and at lunch tables during the day, which means sneezes, coughs, nasal leakage, well, you get it… ends up all over these surfaces. Even though these surfaces are cleaned, very few are actually disinfected with the proper disinfectant and allowed to dwell the proper amount of time to be effective. It’s important that the schools be sure to properly disinfect these surfaces to reduce bacteria and viruses on these surfaces.

Probably one of the most overlooked place for germs and viruses are art rooms and band/music rooms. Most of these classrooms have students sharing supplies which in turns to the spread of bacteria and viruses. The teachers and building maintenance department people do not make these supplies and instruments a priority for disinfection, however, can be a leading cause of the spread of germs in a school building.

Sports equipment, especially wrestling mats are the most likely cause of staph and MRSA infections in a school. These areas although cleaned and disinfected at a high rate are not usually disinfected with the proper dwell time or a disinfectant with the appropriate kill claims and therefore are a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses to spread to the student-athlete. Football helmets, basketballs, and other sports gear need to be disinfected to help reduce the outbreaks of illness.

Finally, school buses rarely if ever are cleaned properly let alone disinfected. This is a very high source of spreading viruses and bacteria to other students. From kids licking the condensation off the window to sneezing and coughing in a closed space, it’s easy to see how the school bus is most likely the most likely place to spread germs and bacteria.

Does your school have a disinfection protocol that is designed to address high-risk touch points and help you achieve your infection control goals? I’d love to spend a few minutes discussing the health and safety of your students and staff. You can book time with me directly or if you would prefer to learn a bit more about keeping your school healthy then I would suggest you check out our free email course “5 Steps to a Healthier School.”

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