women 4 hope

Dedicated to addressing women’s issues.

Are Your Children Bringing Home Germs and Viruses From School?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on September 30, 2007

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How Many Germs Are Lurking In Your Child’s Classroom? — by Catherine Morgan (cross-posted at BlogHer)

When the kids go back to school, the germs go back to working overtime. How long does your child have to be back in school before he or she brings a boat-load of viruses home to the family? Have you already had the pleasure? I have.

Do you think there is a connection between kids being in school and your family getting sick? Do you think children are exposed to too many germs when they are at school? Do you wish you could minimize your child’s exposure to germs?

Here are a few of the facts about germs and your child’s classroom.

Research done at the University of Arizona found that desk surfaces, computer keyboards, and computer mouses ranked high in levels of five bacteria:

  • E. Coli
  • Klebsiella pneumonia
  • Streptococcus
  • Salmonella
  • Staphylococcus aureus

But when office workers were told to clean their desk with disinfecting wipes, bacterial levels were reduced by 99%.

Even teachers say more needs to be done to make our classrooms cleaner and healthier for children. A whopping 92% of teachers say that regular disinfecting in classrooms can result in fewer absences caused by illness and 96% of them believe more can be done to make classrooms cleaner and healthier places for our children, according to a survey presented at a news briefing by the American Medical Association. – from WebMD — Germs in the school room

Click here to see 10 tips to stop germs at school.

Your Easy Guide For Stopping Classroom Bugs – by Scholastic . . .

No doubt you already have a routine for keeping viruses at bay. But since bugs make their way through the classroom at racing speeds, we need to outsmart them before they get to us.

We asked experts to identify the signs of the most common classroom illnesses, plus offer their suggestions for giving those bugs the ax. Here’s what they said.

From the Clorox Company . . .

– 94 percent of nurses surveyed believe classroom cleaning routines for teachers to follow would help combat germs at school.
– Nearly two-thirds of respondents believe disinfecting plays an extremely important role in maintaining a healthy classroom.
– 98 percent disinfect their own offices. It’s also important for sick students to stay home.
– More than half of students seen by school nurses came to school ill. Traditionally, school custodial staff members clean areas of the classroom including floors, chalkboards, sinks and bathrooms, but do not disinfect desktops, computer keyboards and mice, and other high-touch areas where germs can harbor. It’s left to teachers and parents to clean these items.

A fall 2005 study by University of Arizona further shed light on the importance of cleaning in schools. After comparing bacteria presence on office surfaces of professionals in different occupations, the study ranked classrooms as the #1 workplace for germs and named teachers as having the “germiest” job.

Here is a sampling of some of the teacher and mommy blogs that are talking about germs.

From Teach J . . .

As a media/journalism teacher, you will be with your kids more hours a day than nearly anyone else will. I routinely get to school at 6:30 am and leave around 4:30 pm. During most of that time there are students there, and where there are students – there is mess. What is worse than mess are germs. Here are some things that you might want to keep on hand in your classroom.

From TeachNet . . .

For a quick lesson with instant results, cover a pencil with glue, then sprinkle glitter all over the glue. Pass the pencil around the room (yes, this one’s a little messy!) and watch the glittering “germs” spread from one student to the next. If you wipe the pencil off with a paper towel, some of the germs will still remain. This is why it is important to actually WASH the pencil (and everyone’s hands) with soap and water to effectively remove the germs. You can expect at least one of your students to touch something else once they have glitter on their hands. Glitter on a desk, one their face, or in their hair is an even better example of how easy it is to spread germs.

Jessica, from Juice to Joy says . . .

My preschool class is over-run with illness. Croup is going from child to child and even leaping into other classrooms. I actually think it started in another classroom. Three-year-olds don’t share much, but they do share germs in abundance. So I’ve been feeling sickly since last week, especially Friday.

From Best of Mother Earth . . .

The doorknobs (oh the doorknobs), the desks, the teachers desk, the chairs, the computer key boards, the chalk, the eraser,the books, the pencils, the drinking fountain, the lunchtable, the milk carton; just to mention a few items, are all things touched be everyone else over and over and over …would you agree that the germ factor in the school environment is HUGE.

Healthy Mom – Healthy Family . . .

School nurses say more can be done in America’s classrooms to help prevent the spread of illness, especially at the height of cold and flu season when more than half of school nurses, who were recently surveyed, send five or more sick children home each day.

From Ms. Hyche’s Class Blog – To Hand-Gel or Not To Hand-Gel . . .

My 5th period English class loves hand-gel. Not only because it is lunch time and we all want clean hands, but because hand gels apparently now come in very pleasant scents. I have decided to dedicate today’s blog to my 5th period class.

From Apples for the Teacher . . .

I am so sick of germs! I was out of commission for most of the week with a bad cold/flu virus. Took two days out of the classroom and one day off from grad school and I am still not feeling 100%. Hopefully for the next month I stay fairly healthy. I have two very busy weekends in October back to back and I am going to need every ounce of energy to make it through.

Also See: Got Germs? from TIME For Kids

To help combat the germs lurking in the classroom, Clorox has a program to help teachers, schools, and parents called “Clean-up The Classrooms“, you can even register for a free Clorox Classroom Clean-up Kit.

 

So there you have it, a post about germs and how to get rid of them. What does your family do to combat the big, bad, GERM?

I also want to point out, that there is a flip-side to this story, and I will be addressing that issue on Monday. Can your house be too clean? Could colds and flu be helping your immune system stay healthy? Where do allergies come from? Are antibiotics and vaccines doing more harm than good? These are a few of the questions I’ll be trying to answer on Monday…If you have a post that you think might be helpful for this topic, please drop me a link in comments or my email. Until then, have a great weekend.

above image from

Contributing Editor Catherine Morgan
also at Women 4 Hope and CatherineBlogs.com

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2 Responses to “Are Your Children Bringing Home Germs and Viruses From School?”

  1. Germs are what allows children to produce healthy and robust immune systems. If you are solely concentrated on keeping them germ-free, how are they supposed to be healthy down the road when there immune system has hardly been used?

    Let your kids play in the mud and bring some germs home from school; it’s not going to kill them! In fact, it might be the thing that does the opposite.

    Stop worrying about your kids’ health and let them be kids for fuck sakes.

  2. Hi “Garretonfire” — Thanks for your comment, that’s exactly what I am going to be talking about on my next post…

    “So there you have it, a post about germs and how to get rid of them. What does your family do to combat the big, bad, GERM?

    I also want to point out, that there is a flip-side to this story, and I will be addressing that issue on Monday. Can your house be too clean? Could colds and flu be helping your immune system stay healthy? Where do allergies come from? Are antibiotics and vaccines doing more harm than good? These are a few of the questions I’ll be trying to answer on Monday…If you have a post that you think might be helpful for this topic, please drop me a link in comments or my email. Until then, have a great weekend.”

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