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. With their less developed immune systems, infections are more easily caught. School life can be frequently disrupted by the spread of communicable diseases such as Influenza, Norovirus and Escherichia coli (E. Coli). Hand hygiene really helps reduce the spread of germs. 

Research shows that improper hand washing can cost the education system millions of sick days, for students and staff. Hand washing is the most important thing you can do to keep from getting sick.

Washrooms

Improving the condition of the school washrooms and providing adequate facilities supports increased hand washing rates and more positive attitudes in students. The simple act of washing hands can reduce the risk of stomach bugs by as much as 47%. Risk hotspots within the washroom include toilets, flush handles, cubicle handles and areas around the sink.

  • The use of colour throughout the washroom and coloured dispensers can enhance the experience and encourage hand washing 
  • Effective hand washing and drying is critical to disrupt the spread of germs. Ensure soap and hand drying provisions are well-stocked 
  • Provide hand washing demonstrations to students and equip washrooms with signage and visual prompts to promote good hygiene practices

Corridors

The reception and entrance areas create a first impression for students, parents and visitors. Make it positive and it will reflect well on the hygiene standards of the school. 

  • The reception area is often a high traffic space with many people passing during the day. 80% of the dirt in buildings is brought indoors via visitors' shoes. Entrance mats enhance reception areas and help demonstrate an added level of consideration and care to your students, staff and visitors. 
  • Ensure a regular cleaning routine with a focus on high-use areas such as door handles, surfaces and even signing-in pens

Canteens

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 or linen towels and waste 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 Washroom Hygiene found that the average computer mouse was home to more than three times the levels of bacteria-related contamination compared to 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 work station

School hand hygiene toolkit

The simple act of washing hands can reduce the risk of getting a stomach bug as much as 47%. For children, understanding the importance of good hand hygiene is essential. Schools play an intrinsic part in developing learnt behaviours and as key role models, teachers can help play a part in teaching children about personal hygiene from an early age.