Dirty schools may be to blame for a child's next fever or stomach ache. Between superficial cleaning efforts and germ-filled surfaces and spaces, two-thirds of the 500 adults we recently surveyed believe a lack of cleanliness in schools leads to kids getting sick.
With a new school year upon us, if you have children, get ready to get sick. A University of Utah School of Medicine study finds that people living in childless homes are sick 3 to 4 weeks per year. Add one child, that number goes up to 18 weeks and then 29 weeks per year with a second child.
Less than one-third of the adults we surveyed believe schools are properly sanitized on a daily basis, giving germs room and time to multiply. While the trash may be thrown out and floors vacuumed every day, the concern about a thorough cleaning is why the majority of people we surveyed say schools are on the dirtier side.
It seems nearly impossible for students to escape the germs, no matter what room they are in. According to our survey respondents, here are the places that carry the most germs:
- Bathroom: 39.2%
- Classroom: 24.1%
- Cafeteria: 16.75%
- Gym: 13.8%
- Nurse’s Office: 6.2%
There may be no escaping the germs, as some of the most common items students touch every day were voted the most germ infested by our survey respondents:
- Door Handle: 38.3%
- Water Fountain: 17.4%
- Stairway Railing: 17.1%
- Desk: 11.3%
- School Supplies: 8.1%
- Toilet: 7.8%
While students are encouraged to wash and sanitize their hands often, it’s also important a school sanitize these places daily.
According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each day about 55 million students and seven million staff attend more than 130,000 public and schools in the U.S. Illness outbreaks can hamper learning, lead to an increase in absenteeism and wreak havoc on a school district.
“When tackling germs in school, it is important that people understand the difference between cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing,” Coverall’s COO, Shirley Klein. “Coverall works with thousands of schools to implement a system that eradicates germs. Having a system in place to keep schools clean will help prevent illness, limit parents from taking unnecessary sick days and provide a more enjoyable learning experience,” added Klein.
In addition to reinforcing good personal hygiene, Coverall emphasizes the importance of tackling the high-touch points so many parents in the survey were concerned about.
“Paying extra close attention to the cafeteria, door handles and bathrooms can have a big impact in minimizing the spread of germs and illness,” she added.