Education

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Recommendations For Good Hygiene In Education Institutions

Teaching children to understand the importance of hygiene is an essential part of their education. Because their immune systems are still developing, children are more prone to infections. Communicable and infectious diseases such as Influenza, Norovirus and Escherichia coli (E. Coli) can sweep through a school quickly if good hygiene practices are not in place, and good hand hygiene in particular can really help reduce the spread of germs.

Research shows that improper hand washing can cost the education system millions of Rands in sick days, for students and staff.  Hand washing is the most important thing you can do to limit the financial impact of sick students and staff.

Bathrooms

Improving the condition of school bathrooms and providing adequate facilities support can increase hand washing rates and foster a positive attitudes in students. The simple act of washing hands can reduce the risk of stomach bugs by as much as 47%.

Some risk hotspots within the bathroom include toilets, toilet flushing handles, cubicle handles and areas around the sink.
  • Effective hand washing and drying is critical to disrupt the spread of germs. Ensure soap and hand drying provisions are always available.
  • Provide hand washing demonstrations to students and equip bathrooms with signage and visual prompts to promote good hygiene practices.

Corridors

Clean, well maintained reception and entrance areas can create a positive first impression for students, parents and visitors.

  • High traffic spaces such as reception areas bring dirt and dust into the school grounds via visitors' shoes. Quality floor mats can protect your flooring and keep dirt and dust from being tracked onto your premises, thus keeping your grounds clean.
  • Ensure a regular cleaning routine with a focus on high-use areas such as door handles, surfaces and even signing-in pens.

Canteens and tuck shop

Food hygiene and safety are critical in ensuring childrens’ well-being and maintaining educational standards - keeping both staff and students safe from food-borne illnesses.

  • Train staff on correct hand washing procedures and glove usage policies to minimise the spread of germs from hands to food and surfaces.
  • Ensure adequate hand washing facilities are provided and well stocked including soap, paper towels and waste paper bins.
  • Clean food preparation areas and disinfect work surfaces regularly to reduce the risk of cross-contamination.

Classrooms

An unclean classroom creates a breeding ground for harmful bacteria, affecting both children and staff.

  • Incorporating hygiene education in the curriculum can boost hygiene standards.
  • Door handles and common surfaces are often overlooked when cleaning. Ensure a good cleaning program and provide access to hand sanitisers to minimise the risk of cross-contamination.
  • Reduce your school's carbon footprint with the provision of automated taps that reduce water consumption, particularly in science classrooms.

Computer rooms

A study by Initial Hygiene found that the average computer mouse was home to more than three times the levels of bacteria-related contamination than the average toilet seat.

  • Computer keyboards house thousands of microbes per square inch. Encourage students to clean computer desk areas regularly by providing surface sanitisers.
  • Implement a regular cleaning regime of computer equipment as many hands come into contact with a single workstation.