The Importance of Proper Hand Hygiene in a School Environment

    With winter in full swing, I think you’re probably like me in that you’ve been spending a lot more time indoors. Here in Chicago, even though the winter this year has been milder than most, temperatures still are rarely above freezing. Leaving the safety and warmth of the indoors for bone-chilling temperatures, snowstorms, rain or high winds is not my idea of a good time.

    Unfortunately, spending more time inside can lead to a variety of health concerns. Schools, in particular, face a challenge because of the increased chance of spreading illnesses due to person-to-person contact, the number of surfaces that can be contaminated and many other opportunities where infectious microbes can be spread quickly.

    So how can your school meet the challenge head-on?

    One of the best ways to counter the spread of illnesses is to practice proper hand washing techniques. It is important for both students and staff to be reminded to wash their hands after using the restroom and before eating their food as these are two of the most common ways to spread illnesses.

    Proper hygiene for hand washing consists of five components:

    1. Wet Get your hands wet with clean, running water.
    2. Lather After getting your hands wet, it’s time to rub your hands together with soap to lather them thoroughly. You’ll want to be sure to include the back of your hands, between your fingers and don’t forget about under your nails!
    3. Scrub You should scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Your school may not have a clock in the restroom so the CDC recommends singing the “Happy Birthday” song twice.
    4. Rinse Use clean, running water to rinse the soap off your hands.
    5. Dry The final step is to dry your hands thoroughly. World Dryer can help with our full line of high-speed hand dryers, such as our all-in-one VERDEdri—a surface-mounted ADA compliant hand dryer featuring a HEPA filter, antimicrobial technology and a quick dry time of 12 seconds or less.

    All of these steps are important, including the last one! So as we make our way through these last few months of winter and look forward to the warm temperatures of spring and summer, here’s to keeping all of our schools healthy. It can all start with a little bit of soap and water!