Children are prone to infections when compared to adults due to their under-developed immune systems. Viral infections like COVID-19 are now doing the rounds causing life-threatening diseases. Hence it is all the more important to teach the importance of hand sanitizing in children. The schools also play a major role in protecting the health of the children. It is their responsibility to prepare the classrooms and keep them disinfected for the children.
Importance of sanitizers in school
According to studies, teaching is one of the professions where the risk of contracting germs is at the highest. Teachers are handling several children including sick children with cold and cough. They are in direct contact with their possessions like their desks, their stationery, their school bags and more. It is important for teachers to do mindful sanitizing to prevent cross contamination. Cross contamination leads to rapid spreading of disease and leads to absenteeism in school.
The strength in school, combined of pupils and working staff is higher than a normal office set up. This increases the need of effective sanitization of surfaces as well as hand hygiene.
Hand Hygiene in children
Hand hygiene in children is generally low. Children are too small to handle soap and water without making a mess. It is in these situations hand sanitizers come in handy. Children can effectively keep their hands clean from germs by using sanitizers under the supervision of teachers. So, hand sanitizers are a practical option and an easy-to-follow hand hygiene amongst children.
One of the major reason to opt for sanitizer for children instead of soap and water is to save time and keep schedules intact. So it is easy to use a hand sanitizer rub kept at the exit of the labs in school. Sanitizing effectively help in maintaining hand hygiene instead of queuing up in the restrooms for hand wash.
According to the reports by NCBI, hand sanitizing has visibly reduced illness related absence in schools amongst children by 51%
Hand hygiene for staff in school
Teachers are exposed to microbes throughout the day. The kids in school are still learning to cough or sneeze safely into a tissue. Accidental sneezes leave the respiratory droplets on surfaces causing spreading of diseases. Teachers must lead the example for hand hygiene by sanitizing their hands after every class and after using the stationery.
The administrative staff must ensure that visitors are using hand sanitizers and after every exchange in the school counter.
Surface sanitizers in school
It is quite normal to presume the restrooms in schools are germiest. But, it is not true. Restrooms are cleaned regularly, which means it is less infested than the spots that go unnoticed. Below are few spots in schools where surface sanitizers are mandatory to keep the environment hygienic.
The seats and handles in the school buses are all quite germy. It needs to be disinfected with surface sanitizers to ensure safe rides for children
The children spend most of their school hours at their desk. But they are just normally wiped or sometimes not even that! It is important to sanitize the desks after every school day to ensure that the kids return the next day to clean and safe classrooms.
Computer lab serve as hotspots for germs with hundreds of kids logging in to it every day. So the keyboard, mouse, the monitors need to be sanitized before the start of the class.
Sanitization of the counters and the desks in cafeterias should be made mandatory. Since it is one of the crowded places in school where children gather during their breaks.
Sports equipment are one of the commonly used things in school. This makes it a highly infested spot for virus and bacteria. The sweat, heat and germs are not at all a favourable combination for good hygiene. So, after every usage the school must ensure sanitization of these equipment, because this will help in getting rid of microbes and control spread of diseases amongst children. The school administration must take up the responsibility to drive hygiene in their school by working on the surface and hand sanitization. So, they need to bring up an effective hand hygiene programme to be followed by children, teachers and staff alike. And these precautions can go a long way in keeping the school environment healthy and not leading to absenteeism which is quite common and one of the biggest issues in schools.