Back-to-school season means a return to cold and flu season. With students, teachers and staff spending several hours each day within close proximity of one another, germs spread easily, leading to school outbreaks and frequent absenteeism that can harm student performance and a school’s reputation. In fact, some Canadian provinces have recently introduced tougher school attendance policies. To prevent infection and limit germs at school, faculty must take the necessary steps to erase germs. The simplest, most effective way to prevent the spread of disease is hand washing.
Hands are responsible for spreading 80 percent of all common infectious diseases. A study by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) International, measured the number of aerobic bacteria per inch on common school surfaces and found the worst offenders are water fountains, cafeteria trays and plates, water faucets, computer keyboards, teacher’s desk phones and unsurprisingly, toilet seats. The study also found that a student’s hand holds 1,500 germs on average.
To tackle this complex problem, it’s important to remind students and staff to wash their hands correctly before and after certain activities, including:
As millions of students and faculty members begin a new school year, it is essential to take steps to create a safe and healthy learning environment. By following the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 6-step hand washing technique, students and school staff can use proper hand washing to limit the spread of germs and promote a cleaner environment throughout the entire year.
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