Schools and businesses play an active role in promoting health and wellbeing. Children and adults alike spend the majority of their days at school or work, making these institutions critical partners in the fight against germs.
With hundreds, even thousands, of youth and adults in close proximity, schools are a front-line defense against germs. Educators and administrators can take an active role in germ-prevention and education.
- Demonstrate and practice thorough hand-washing. Teach younger students songs lasting 20 seconds that they can sing as they wash. Show students how to wash the back of hands, as well as palms, between fingers, and under fingernails. Older students and even teachers can benefit from this instruction, too.
- Emphasize the importance of warm, soapy water to kill germs.
- Place handwashing posters in classrooms, bathrooms, employee lounges, and anywhere else that sinks are present. Keep sinks properly supplied with soap and paper towels.
- Provide hand sanitizer in classrooms, the front office, and anywhere else that students or employees congregate. Allow and encourage students to carry their own travel sanitizer, as well. Doc Hygiene™ is a compact, convenient sanitizing solution to promote within your school community. Traditional, travel bottles of hand sanitizer can open in backpacks and ruin homework and young children often squeeze out too much sanitizer onto desks and floors.
- Regularly wipe down and disinfect desks, door handles, work tables, common classroom supplies, and any others areas where germs collect. Integrate desk and chair wipedown into your students’ daily routine and assign helpers to sanitize other germ hot-spots in your classroom.
- Demonstrate and teach the importance of coughing or sneezing into the elbow rather than the hand and disposing of used tissues right away.
- Incorporate pathogen and hygiene education into your science lessons. Depending on the grade and age of your students, consider these ideas:
- Learn about the difference between viruses and bacteria, and explore the reason that antibiotics kill bacteria but not viruses.
- Teach important terms like “airborne,” “pathogen,” and “cross contamination.”
- Look at why warm, soapy water is best for hand washing, and find out how hand sanitizers work to kill germs.
- Conduct “germ hot-spot” experiments. Have students swab different surfaces in their classrooms and around the school and then grow the samples in petri dishes to determine the most contaminated surfaces and objects.
- Teach about pandemics like COVID-19 in a way that makes the subject less frightening and more understandable for younger students and so that older students comprehend how and why pandemics begin.
- Maintain strict protocols to keep students, teachers, and staff at home when sick.
Many of the same protocols that should be in place for schools also apply to places of business.
- Provide employee training in hygiene such as proper hand washing, protecting others from coughs and sneezes, and workspace disinfection.
- Place handwashing posters in bathrooms, employee lounges, and anywhere else that sinks are present. Keep sinks properly supplied with soap and paper towels.
- Provide hand sanitizer, such as Doc Hygiene™ packets, for employees and patrons.
- Employ maintenance to regularly wipe down and disinfect all common workspaces, elevators, door handles, stair rails, any others areas where germs collect.
- Provide employee education on the cause and spread of illness, such as COVID-19 or seasonal cold and flu, the difference between viruses and other pathogens, and protocols for treatment of these illnesses.
- Maintain strict standards to keep employees at home and disallow patrons from visiting when sick.