Children are especially susceptible to a great number of illnesses. The combination of having a developing immune system and the lack of regard to hygiene rules leads thousands of missed days from school throughout children’s school careers. Schools have a great opportunity to apply infection prevention tactics that ensure kids have a safe and hygienic school environment. In such trying times, when the world is trying to adjust to the “new normal” after the recent COVID-19 outbreak, hand hygiene in schools is more imperative than ever.
According to a meta-analysis on the subject, “Effectiveness of hand hygiene interventions in reducing illness absence among children in educational settings“, interventions such as education on the subject, having enough hand washing facilities, and more have proven effective in reducing sick days. The meta-analysis says, “Young children are particularly susceptible to respiratory tract and gastrointestinal infections… These highly infectious illnesses spread quickly in semi-closed settings such as schools.” The analysis concluded, “Individual study results suggest interventions may reduce children’s absence, RT infection incidence and symptoms, and laboratory-confirmed ILI. They may also improve children’s and staff hand hygiene attitudes, knowledge and behavior.”
What can schools do in order to prevent infections?
Educate children on hand hygiene
Kids don’t always understand why it’s important to wash your hands, and how to do it properly. With the recent COVID-10 outbreak, many people utilized different “tricks” that help make hand washing more understandable for kids. This video for example shows how paint can spread all over your hands, and how that should be done with soap when hand washing.
Provide accessible sinks and reagents for kids to use
Schools need to provide enough sinks for kids to use freely. When there is a queue for hand washing, it’s more likely for kids to be pressured into washing quickly rather than thoroughly – or not wash at all. Having enough sinks for everyone makes it easier for kids to take their time and wash correctly. Schools can also provide disposable paper towels to help children finish the drying process with as little germ passage as possible.
Hand washing or sanitizing facilities inside classrooms are a great solution
By installing more options for hand hygiene inside the classroom, students and teachers alike are more likely to practice hand hygiene at regular intervals. Ending the need to leave the classroom in order to practice hand hygiene can increase the number of times students wash their hands throughout the day. Teachers can ensure hand washing before and after every lesson, increasing the chance of preventing contractible diseases from spreading inside the classroom.
The ECO micro-station is perfect for busy school settings. Not only does it dispense the correct amount of soap and warm water needed for an exact wash cycle, it also shows the user when their hands are clean and they’re done washing. The ECO micro-station can save up to 65% of reagents and 90% of water, saving hundreds of dollars a year. The ECO micro-station also has a facial recognition feature, giving each user a score based on how well they’d washed their hands. This can help schools understand hand hygiene trends in their facilities, as well as understand which grades need help going over hand hygiene protocols. Group and individual user data is stored on the Soapy Wisdom platform, protected according to the GDPR standards. The information is transferred through the local Wi-Fi network and is only accessible to authorized personnel. The ECO micro-station is extremely easy to install, requiring only a water inlet and outlet, a regular electricity connection, and a local Wi-Fi network. If you want to learn more about the ECO micro-station, you can reach out to us here.