Cold & Flu Season Is Around the Corner: Tips for Infection Prevention in Schools

October 03, 2011

Today we have a guest post by John Paul Surdo, North American Education Sector Leader for Diversey, Inc., a leader level sponsor of HSC’s Quick & Easy Guide to Green Cleaning in Schools. Thanks to John for this great and timely post!

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Every year, schools across the country face an inevitable battle against colds and flu (Rhinovirus and Influenza). It is important that faculty and staff members work together during flu season to ensure the health and safety of their students.

By taking a few simple steps, you can help to limit absenteeism due to the spread of these infectious viruses.

One way to do so is by encouraging students and faculty to be part of the effort to keep the school healthy. Individuals should wash their hands often and avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth. Schools can help raise awareness of the importance of handwashing with educational posters in the hallway and restroom.

Teachers and school nurses can also engage students in handwashing activities (such as singing songs or reading stories related to handwashing) and offer regular, simple reminders. 

Finally, regular cleaning and disinfecting of common touch points can be a crucial way to maintain a healthy environment for students and staff. Although personal hygiene and responsibility are important to limit the spread of influenza, the virus is transmitted by hands and surfaces in an institution. Therefore, schools should regularly clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces such as:

  • door handles
  • light switches
  • desks
  • lockers
  • athletic equipment
  • computer keyboards and mice
  • phones
  • vending machines
  • hand railings
  • drinking fountains

Green cleaning and disinfecting techniques help keep the indoor air as healthy as possible for all occupants of a building. This includes green multi-use cleaners and healthier disinfectants such as those based on hydrogen peroxide which break down to oxygen and water after use. 

To learn more about green cleaning – during flu season and beyond – check out HSC’s Quick & Easy Guide to Green Cleaning in Schools. You can access the guide online or get your free copy at www.greencleanschools.org

Plus: Be sure to sign up for HSC's green cleaning newsletter for the latest green clean schools news and updates!