The year is flying by faster than ever and fall season is creeping up on us. You might be thinking, “Great! That means the holiday season is just around the corner.” Well… so is flu season. As we approach the peak of the flu season, I start thinking about all those times I was horribly sick with the flu. I am more than confident that those viruses floating around everywhere at school were responsible for my illnesses. That got me curious about where germs love to live in schools and how I could have avoided getting sick every year as a student. So… I did some research.
Here are the Top 8 Germiest Places in School
1. The Cafeteria https://www.cnn.com/2013/08/15/health/gallery/school-germ-zones/index.html – This is a breeding place for germs when students meet to eat their PB&J sandwiches. There are countless of germs living in the trays, tables, and food residues.
2. Water Fountains https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/09/26/drinking-fountain.aspx – These are located throughout the school and shared by many. Surprisingly enough, the fountain handles are generally contaminated by germs.
3. Backpacks https://www.winchesterva.gov/sites/default/files/documents/safety/10-Germiest-Back-To-School-Places.pdf – These travel to different places daily, but don’t get washed very frequently. Can you picture all the germs carried by backpacks?
4. Bathrooms http://www.nsf.org/consumer-resources/studies-surveys-infographics/germ-studies/germiest-places-schools – Not only are germs inhabiting the toilet seat, they get sprayed around the bathroom when a toilet is flushed!
5. Computer Labs http://www.nsf.org/consumer-resources/studies-surveys-infographics/germ-studies/germiest-places-schools – Imagine all those germs sitting around on each keyboard, mouse, and touch screen monitor.
6. Art Supplies https://www.cnn.com/2013/08/15/health/gallery/school-germ-zones/index.html – Students share art supplies, rapidly passing germs along with crayons, scissors, and the occasional glue stick.
7. Book Nook https://www.winchesterva.gov/sites/default/files/documents/safety/10-Germiest-Back-To-School-Places.pdf – Some teachers have a book nook or a library corner for young kids in the classroom. Germs love this area because once the children get comfortable, they can populate the fabrics.
8. Playground Equipment https://www.cnn.com/2013/08/15/health/gallery/school-germ-zones/index.html – Students carry germs in their hands, then spread them when they touch the monkey bars, slides, swings, etc.
The best way to protect kids and teachers at school from germs is to properly, habitually, and thoroughly wash hands. This means scrubbing for 20 seconds under hot water and drying with a clean, dry towel. Jake Mages, the Category Manager for Janitorial and Facilities here at Guernsey, directly works with schools and has spoken about the lack of hand hygiene and its impact. He states, “A student absence costs a school between $30-$40 per day since a lot of their grant money is determined by attendance. Teacher absences cost schools around $100 per day. Good hand hygiene can greatly reduce the number of absences for both students and teachers and directly effect a school’s bottom line.” So yeah, washing your hands is a big deal. I remember being a student, and I know that washing hands can be an annoying, boring chore for kids, especially at school. This is where Deb’s Happy Hands Contest comes in!
Happy Hands Contest
The Happy Hands Contest raises awareness about hand hygiene in schools. Students across the country create and submit dispenser designs and the winner’s gets produced nation-wide by Deb. This contest educates students about the importance of washing hands, while allowing them to explore their creative talents by creating an original design for a Deb dispenser. Sound interesting?
Here’s how to enter:
• Register your school now at www.debhappyhands.com
• Submit your student’s design by November 30th, 2018
• Public open voting of the chosen finalists starts February 1st, 2019
• Winners will be notified privately in March 2019
• Grand prize winners will be announced in April 2019
When you register you will receive all the necessary rules, coloring template, and lots of hand washing educational materials for your students.
Here’s what you can win:
• $750 donation to the school
• $300 gift card for the students who submitted the winning design
• 500 dispensers to display with your winning design in the school
Still have questions? That’s cool. Check out all the details here.
Crafting, designing, and the internet are Sally’s outlets and she’s always looking for new opportunities to transform her way of thinking. When she’s not working, she can probably be found stuffing her face with food or rewatching Grey’s Anatomy over and over again.