Cleaning for Health During Flu Season: What You Need To Know
Schools and (school buses) require special care when it comes to keeping them clean. Why?
- Schools are densely populated buildings (up to four times more populated than commercial office spaces), and are often occupied for up to ten hours a day.
- The high activity levels within our schools also kick up dust, dirt, and other indoor air pollutants that require a rigorous cleaning program.
- From the science class to the art class to the kindergarten class, there are a variety of pollutants introduced for the purpose of teaching.
Cleaning for health is a widely accepted cleaning approach that protects public health, without adversely affecting the health of staff, building occupants, or the environment.
Classrooms are unique environments because of the variety of objects and surfaces that are touched often by many different hands. Toys, computer keyboards, and other hands-on-learning tools require special attention when cleaning. Although it is not the responsibility of teachers and paraeducators to clean their classrooms, there are some small steps they can take to help their custodians in the cleaning process.
Best Practices in the Classroom
In the classroom:
These simple steps can help your custodial staff do their jobs more efficiently and more effectively.
- Keep clutter to a minimum.
- If you clear it, custodians will clean it.
- Store paper, books, and other supplies in plastic tubs so they won’t collect dust and other air pollutants. Stack tubs neatly so custodial staff can easily clean around them.
- Involve your students in the team effort. Ask them to pick up their stuff at the end of the day, put it away in their desks, and dispose of all their trash properly – preferably in containers with lids that close securely.
Germ Prevention :
During Flu Season and Beyond
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you are sick with flu-like illness, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. Keep away from others as much as possible to keep from making others sick.