Flu season is in full swing, which means kids are particularly vulnerable when heading back to school following winter break. After being exposed to many germs during family holiday gatherings, many school-aged children fall ill during January. This makes it imperative for schools to maintain optimal cleanliness during these critical winter months. Environmental cleaning ensures student safety and prevents the outbreak of disease.
Environmental Cleaning Can Prevent the Spread of Infections
Poor personal hygiene is one of the biggest predictors of disease. The influenza virus travels through fluid-filled droplets that are expelled when coughing or sneezing. Other bacterial and viral illnesses spread in similar ways. Part of the responsibility for preventing diseases in schools lies with teachers instructing their students in proper personal hygiene. This means good handwashing protocol after using the bathroom, coughing into the crook of one’s arm rather than the hands, and avoiding contact with others when feeling sick.
However, teaching students to take action against infection only goes so far. Environmental cleaning is the best way to curb the spread of infection, keeping students and faculty safe. Schools should have a disease control policy that outlines the steps needed to halt infections. This may include:
- Cleansing common surfaces. This includes classroom surfaces (e.g., desks, doorknobs, and keyboards), surfaces in athletic facilities, and hallways. Because cafeterias are an optimal environment for germs to thrive and spread, keeping food preparation spaces clean is essential.
- Use of commercial grade cleaners. Although individual classrooms may keep sanitizing wipes and other basic cleaning products on hand, these are often not suitable for larger scale applications. Schools should invest in commercial grade cleaning products to keep the environment germ free. For example, EcoShield offers a proprietary line of cleaning products that are capable of neutralizing pathogens without harming personal health or the environment.
- Facility decontamination in case of infection outbreak. Schools around the country are battling outbreaks of influenza, measles, whooping cough, and other transmissible diseases. Environmental cleaning services provide the “deep clean” your facility needs to recover from these serious threats to public health.
Environmental Cleaning Training May Keep Your Facility Safe
The best offense against germs is a strong defense. This is why it is important for your school to develop resources to combat germs before the winter flu season begins. Most schools do not have full-time, trained disease prevention personnel. However, custodial staff members, teachers, and school nurses may benefit from formal infection control training. This includes information on the spread of disease, common pathogens and their hosts, and development of protocols to keep the student body healthy. EcoShield offers top notch environmental cleaning training programs and can collaborate with your facility to develop a safety plan that works. Contact us today to learn more about how to keep your school disease free this year.