Children’s Confidence in School-Based on BASIC Hygiene Standards
In nearly two years, the world discovered what would happen if illness shuttered schools, forcing kids to learn remotely. However, as any teacher or parent can tell you, illnesses spreading like wildfire through classrooms were a common occurrence pre-pandemic. When kids gather in droves and have consistent close contact, contagious illnesses are bound to hop from student to student. Keeping illness at bay involves diligent basic hygiene practices and the cooperation of schools and parents. Schools run the risk of experiencing widespread attendance issues, and with that, plummeting academic achievement if they choose to ignore the importance of hygiene in their buildings.
Basic Hygiene and Attendance
Attendance is always a consideration when discussing academic outcomes in schools, especially amid an unpredictable pandemic.
Common childhood ailments that occur on account of bad hygiene can decimate a student’s attendance record. If illnesses run through schools, knocking out large portions of classrooms, learning can be significantly affected. It takes very little time for students and whole classes to fall behind in the curriculum if they cannot attend school due to illness.
Illnesses such as lice, respiratory infections, cellulitis, pink eye, and gastroenteritis can all be linked to poor hygiene. Combine these common illnesses with children who have developing immune systems and less-than-stellar handwashing practices, and you lose thousands of hours in school attendance.
Basic Hygiene as a Confidence Builder
We all know we feel better when we are clean and well-groomed. Kids who have clean clothes, hair, and teeth are more likely to have a confident approach to school and socializing. When a child’s hygiene is poor, their mood and ability to learn and concentrate can be affected. They are more likely to attract negative attention from their peers as well.
While there is a detrimental physical toll that illness can take on kids and their attendance records, the emotional toll that being a child with poor hygiene within the social structure of the school is also something to consider. Stress and anxiety can cause stomach aches and headaches, which causes a ripple effect that leads to more missed school.
Combating Hygiene Issues in School
What can be done to instill regular good hygiene practices in school? Much was learned amid the pandemic, where we realized just how fast a contagious illness could spread when unabated.
Regular hand washing is the cornerstone of any hygiene plan. Teaching children early how to properly wash their hands, especially after using the bathroom or covering a sneeze, instills good hygiene habits that carry them through their school years. Following the upheaval of the pandemic, hand hygiene is more important than ever. The world witnessed firsthand what handwashing neglect can lead to.
Providing accessible and easy-to-use sinks for all students is essential to mitigating infection spread. When sinks are not readily available throughout the school, lines can form, or kids will be apt to skip handwashing all together. Making disposable paper towels readily available also helps curb the spread of germs. Some schools have even started installing handwashing stations inside the classrooms.
Intuitive handwashing stations like Soapy dispense the correct amount of soap and show kids when they’ve appropriately completed their handwashing.
Minimizing the spread of infection within schools is ensuring better futures for all students. The less time kids spend outside of the classroom, the more apt they will be to achieve better academic results. When schools make hygiene a priority, they curb the spread of illness and help boost their students’ confidence. Confident students do better, learn more, and go on to far more successful lives.
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