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As the winter months finally arrive across the nation, it’s time for schools to start preparing for the inevitable onslaught of germs that arrive as students enter classrooms. How do you prevent the seemingly inevitable outbreak of sickness that occurs every year during this time? You can do that by targeting the top germ spots in schools to ensure that students don’t fall sick.

To help you out we are going to be sharing some tips to help determine where to find the germ hotspots in schools, as well as some information about preventing the spread of disease across the student body.

So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the spots in the school where germs are most likely to congregate, sickening students and staff alike. Here are some of the most prominent germ hotspots in any school.

Top Germ Hotspots

A recent study set researchers the task of swabbing classrooms and common areas of half a dozen schools to determine which areas were most likely to be germ hotspots. The most contaminated site in the school was found to be the cafeteria table. What are some other germ hotspots?

  • Water fountain
  • Taps in the bathroom sinks
  • Library table
  • Computer mouse
  • Computer keyboard
  • Bathroom paper towel dispenser handle

What is the one thing these areas have in common? They’re common areas, as everyone in the school has access to them. It’s a strong indicator that there needs to be significantly more education about the prevention of germs in the school.

Another notorious germ hotspot is the teacher’s desk. In fact, it was determined that teachers had workspaces with the most germs. Again, students have access to the teacher’s space too, so this isn’t shocking. Additionally, attention should be paid to the usual suspects, which include doorknobs, light switches, handrails, and even the floors.

Germ Hotspot Education

So, what can you do to reduce the concentration of germs in these common areas in the school? The first step is to spread awareness about them and then work towards implementing a proper disinfection protocol to reduce the risk of sickness in the schools. Here’s how you should go about it:

·         Post Signs

Place signs prominently in bathrooms, reminding students and teachers to wash their hands, complete with directions for effective germ removal. Don’t stop at the primary schools, as children in secondary schools can use the reminders as well.

In a study of primary and secondary students, it was found that only half of the students washed their hands after a visit to the bathroom. Of that half, 33% of the girls and 8% of the boys used soap.

·         Push the Use of Sanitizer

Encourage teachers to have sanitiser available in their classrooms, placed prominently next to the box of tissues to encourage use when the students are suffering from a cold. You can also install sanitising stations around the school, with a focus on the cafeteria.

Place some sanitiser next to the lunch line with signs suggesting that the students use it before purchasing their lunch. This will ensure that students remember to keep their hands clean and properly sanitise whenever they are touching different surfaces.

·         Disinfect Throughout the Day

Provide teachers with convenient disinfectant wipes and instruct them to wipe down germ hotspots throughout the day. Even though a classroom might start clean, the germs accumulate as the day goes on, and you must keep disinfecting the classroom.

In one study, the Influenza A virus was found on 13.6% of the surfaces swabbed in the morning, and by the afternoon, the number had climbed to 50%. A mid-day wipe down will help keep everyone healthy and free from germs. What study?

·         Empower Your Cleaning and Maintenance Staff

Yes, cleaning for appearance is important, but cleaning for health can make a much bigger impact on your school. Ensure your cleaning and maintenance staff members have the tools and time they need as well as the training and education required to attack germ hotspots with the most effective weapons.

Giving your cleaning and maintenance staff tools such as the electrostatic sprayer is one of the best ways to fight germ hotspots in the school. Electrostatic sprayers are proven to give much better disinfectant cover than standard electric sprayers or hand pump sprayers.

The electrostatic sprayers use proven electrostatic technology within the sprayer mechanism to electrify or positively charge the chemical disinfectant twice inside the sprayer. This makes the fine spray positively charged. The effects of this cause the fine spray to be attracted to all surfaces that it is pointed at.

Use the Infection Prevention System

The Infection Prevention system consists of using an electrostatic sprayer to disinfect any size surface or area using an eco-friendly hospital grade disinfectant solution. This is called electrostatic spray surface cleaning, the process of spraying electrostatically charged chemical particles which allows you to spray a chemical mist onto surfaces and objects.

When the unit is turned on, an electrode introduces a positive charge at the charging ring and works itself back down the line, through the pump and into the tank making all the ions positive. All these positive ions from the tank are pumped from the tank through the pump and charged again at the charging ring all before becoming atomised.

As the fluid exits the nozzle, these positively charged droplets are actively attracted to and seek out negative or neutral (all surfaces are negative or neutral) surfaces, like opposite poles of a magnet, regardless of the direction of spray for complete wrap-around and uniform disinfection coverage on all surfaces. The electrostatic application causes the fine mist to wrap around all surfaces and coat in a way that human hands simply can’t get into, killing any potential virus or pathogen.

As it is a touches application, there is no need to touch or wipe the surfaces. This provides a fast and effective application method while using less solution. The hospital grade eco-friendly solution is safe to use around your home, food, and any surface, both hard and soft. The nature of the mist allows it to coat surfaces evenly, and envelop objects—even if the mist is only sprayed from one side. After the spray is applied, the sanitising agent works to disinfect the covered surfaces. For this reason, electrostatic spraying is an excellent solution for germ and contaminant ridden areas.

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Welcome to Infection Prevention Irelands website, if you have a question regarding air purification or electrostatic spray disinfection, ask here.

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