Children can catch up to six colds a year, almost double that of an average adult. They carry viruses for up to 50 per cent of the year and they’re 1.5 times more likely to do things that can quickly spread infection, such as not covering their mouths when they cough and not washing their hands properly.
As a result of gold-star cleaning in schools, teachers are exposed to A LOT of germs. Indeed, according to findings by Dr Charles Gerba – a microbiologist for the University of Arizona – teachers have 5.5 times more germs on their phones and 27 times more germs on their computer keyboards than other professionals.
A report in The Telegraph notes that schools expect to see the highest level of sickness during the autumn term. This is not only due to the turn in weather but also because, as children become busier, they become more tired. As a result, their immune systems can be compromised, leaving them more vulnerable to illness. Of course, this year, schools have the added challenge of coronavirus transmission to consider, a source of anxiety for many.
So, what can education facilities do to minimise the risk of illness-spread over the winter months?
One of the first things to look at is the equipment being used. For example, gone are the days of the mop and bucket… A mop can carry extraordinary amounts of germs and using a dirty one simply spreads them from one side of a room to another. Cleaning school floors with a hand-held mop also takes a lot of time, which ramps-up labour costs. There are far safer and quicker alternatives.
This includes high-tech gadgets such as the electro-static sprayer. Using advanced cleaning chemicals which neutralise harmful pathogens in the air as well as on surfaces, electro-static sprayers disinfect huge areas in a short amount of time – a 100 foot-square space can be covered in just 12 seconds!
Teams who use this type of progressive technology will also have more time to maintain focus on those real ‘attention to detail’ areas – the places that are regularly forgotten but harbour all sorts of nasty bugs.
Regular offenders include light switches, curtain and blind toggles, remote controls, and whiteboard pens; also, water fountains and lunch trays, each of which can hold more than 30,000 germs!
While daily cleaning in schools is crucial to keep bugs at bay all year round, extra care and attention in the form of ‘deep cleans’ is vital, especially during the colder months. For example, carpets can hold up to 200,000 bacteria per square inch – 4,000 times more than a toilet! This can include some truly nasty bugs, such as norovirus and between 50 and almost 300 germs. So, it goes without saying that they need regular, thorough disinfection to be safe for children to sit on in the classroom.
If you’re looking to get a gold star for your school’s cleanliness and hygiene but need some guidance on how to get there, contact one of our friendly team for a chat today.