More than 50 million students attended public schools last year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. That’s not counting the number of private school students or anyone who works in education. This means when the new school year begins, millions of students and staff members will congregate on campuses nationwide and the risk for sharing germs increases.

Germs can cause major interruptions for all centers of learning. Whether it’s infectious gastrointestinal illness being spread around a daycare, meningitis in college dorms, staph infections in high school locker rooms, or simply cold and flu viruses circulating around an elementary school, students stop learning and staff members call in sick.

Why Do Germs Cause Such a Big Problem for Schools?

When it comes to younger children, there are reasons why illness can spread so quickly. For one, kids’ immune systems are not as mature as those of adults. This means they’ve had less exposure to germs and they are more susceptible to the illnesses that germs can cause. Kids have a greater tendency to stick fingers and objects in their mouths or they may skip washing their hands. All of this combined with groups of kids in close contact means germs can spread very quickly and lead to school absenteeism.

Making Kids Sanitation Scholars

Washing hands can significantly reduce the spread of all kinds of illnesses – from colds and flus caused by viruses, to stomach bugs caused by bacteria. Teaching kids how having germ-free hands can keep them healthy can go a long way. Schools and parents should work together to educate children about the importance of proper handwashing techniques. The lessons can be fun, such as having kids sing twice through the “Happy Birthday” song to make sure kids wash their hands for the recommended 20 seconds.

It is also important for adults to lead by example with proper healthy habits, such as staying home when sick. Although it can be difficult and inconvenient to take the day off from school or work, doing so can go a long way to reducing the spread of illness.

Teaching and reminding kids of other important habits – like coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the crook of the elbow, and properly cleaning belongings and spaces – can help keep schools clean and healthy.

Take the Extra Step

For those who work in education, there are some extra steps that can be taken to help ensure a healthy school. One step is to make sure that the indoor air quality is being monitored. Clean air can reduce the spread of infectious germs, as well as asthma-triggering and allergy-causing materials like dust and mildew. High quality filtration, purification, and sanitation systems aimed directly at clean air can help students and teachers breathe easier.

Your school likely has a building-wide school sanitizing plan that includes regular sanitation services and daily cleaning practices. But individual employees, whether they work at a daycare or a university, can take school cleanliness a step further by regularly disinfecting surfaces and objects that are frequently touched. This might include doorknobs, desks, keyboards, and toys.

GermLogic has years of experience helping schools stay clean and healthy. Whether your school needs an updated air purification system, simple antimicrobial spray for surfaces or regular deep cleaning services, GermLogic can help. Keeping schools clean reduces distractions to learning, keeps students and staff healthy and teaches our kids about the importance of clean spaces – and GermLogic can help.