The cool fall air is coming soon and with it comes cold and flu symptoms. Each year an average of 20,000 children younger than five years old are hospitalized because of the flu or flu-related complications. One of the best ways to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot each year and to stay healthy through proper diet. However, what do you do if the school environment already has the flu present? Here are some practical tips on how you can slow the spread of the flu in your school.
What to do if you got the flu
Stay home when you are sick. You are already sick, and the best course of action is to stay home and get the rest that your body needs. Also by staying home you stop the spread of the flu to work, school and any other place that you would routinely visit. At home think about wearing a mask to stop the spread of the flu to other family members. Cover your nose and mouth when you have to cough or sneeze. Throw away the tissues and then wash your hands with soap and water. If soap is not available, then have a bottle of hand sanitizer available.
Cleaning your facility
In an educational facility, you clean every day all of the common areas to keep the place clean. To help the spread of the flu throughout the facility, you should adopt a disinfecting strategy that goes beyond cleaning. Cleaning removes germs, dirt and impurities from surfaces or objects. This is a typical approach that most custodians take, but it does not necessarily kill the germs. It does lower the number of germs that are present.
Disinfecting to kill germs
Germs live on the surface of many types of objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on these surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean the surface, but it does kill the germs that will stop the spread of the flu.
Have a plan of attack
Did you know that the flu virus can live on a surface for up to 8 hours and still infect people through contact with that surface? Any time that you have a large number of people in one area using many surfaces you should always have a plan of attack in cleaning and disinfecting surfaces throughout your facility.
If you do not have a plan of attack for disinfecting your school, then you should consider hiring a commercial cleaning service to come in and do it for you or help you to develop a future strategy. Some of the areas that you should disinfect are:
- Bathrooms (doors, sinks, dispensers, toilets, urinals)
- Athletic areas (locker doors, equipment, toilets, shower handles)
- Cafeterias (tables, chairs, trays, doors)
- Nurses room
- Hallways (door handles, hand railings, glass and doorway surfaces)
- Classrooms (shared desks, mice, keyboards and door handles)
Think about all of the touch points throughout the day that a teacher or student would come in contact with. By implementing touchless sanitizing dispensers throughout the school, you can also help to lower the spread of germs and the flu dramatically. Other touchless systems like touchless toilets, touchless sinks, touchless soap, and paper towel dispensers will reduce the spread of the flu.
Most schools have a custodian that regularly cleans all of the common areas. Commercial Cleaning Services are trained above and beyond typical custodial duties. Most commercial cleaning companies go through extensive training on how to handle waste properly. They know what hazards are associated with chemicals and what type of chemicals are appropriate for the job of cleaning and disinfecting for airborne and surface-based germs. Before the flu season gets into full swing at your school, consider hiring a commercial cleaning services company to disinfect your school.
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