Keeping hands clean in a commercial facility of any type, from a school to a hospital, long-term care home to a shopping mall, is paramount to the prevention of illness. In the wake of COVID-19, it is apparent just how important it is to have commercial hand hygiene solutions in place, not only to stop the spread of infections but also to reassure visitors that the correct safety measures are in place to protect their health and safety.
As Ontario students return to in-person learning, good hygiene procedures are essential to prevent illness from spreading. Since children spent the majority of their time learning at home from the last two years, it’s understandable that some parents and students may feel apprehensive about returning to school.
Implementing exceptional hand hygiene measures to ensure a safe and healthy environment is one effective and important step schools can take to create a more comfortable return to school for all.
Advantages of Proper Hand Hygiene in Schools
There are several benefits of proper hand hygiene in schools. Proper hand hygiene implemented within your school can have a lasting impact as well – students will be more likely to develop good hygiene habits that will spill over into their lives outside of school, inevitably causing changes to occur on a broader scale.
Improved Health & Well-Being
Students’ health is very important and should be a school’s top priority, especially given the ongoing pandemic. Hand hygiene leads to better wellbeing, which ultimately leads to better grades and happier employees and students. By practicing proper hand hygiene, students can achieve their maximum potential on a day-to-day basis without suffering from preventable health issues.
In Canada, chronic school absenteeism refers to missing 10% of the school year, or approximately 19 days. In Ontario, one yearly report found that 11% of elementary school children were chronically absent from school; in some areas of the province, absence rates averaged over 20%. Infections, such as influenza, and other harmful diseases, are the leading causes of absences at school, which means even after the pandemic is over, hygiene needs to remain a priority to keep staff and students healthy.
The more absenteeism there is, the greater the chance of children falling short in maximizing their educational potential, therefore good hygiene should be a top focus of every school as it contributes to the health and safety of students and staff at all times.
Added Peace of Mind for Parents
Because of the nature of school activities, schools are notorious for being a place where illnesses are easily spread. The biggest culprit among young children? Forgetting to wash their hands, or cover their mouths when sneezing and coughing; all of which can lead to the spread of illness.
No doubt, parents may be extra concerned about their children returning to a school environment this year where the Delta variant is spreading rapidly and COVID-19 remains an ongoing concern. However, cleanliness and good hygiene will help reassure parents that your educational facility is doing its utmost to keep students safe, giving them peace of mind and building their trust.
The Risks of Poor Hygiene
Handwashing and sanitizing are two of the most reliable and cost-efficient ways of preventing disease within schools and other commercial buildings. Although hand washing has improved significantly since the pandemic, it’s important that faculty and students continue making this part of their everyday routine to avoid the risks.
Increased Spread of Infections
It is well known that poor hand hygiene practices in schools directly correlate with an increase in infectious diseases. A lack of hygiene can lead to an increase in illness outside and inside the school gates. As COVID-19 risks remain, poor hygiene is simply not an option and needs to be addressed and prevented to help stop the spread of infection rates.
Hand Hygiene Reminders for Students
- Create a song or a game (for young children). It’s a fun and engaging way to make learning fun.
- During school assemblies, emphasize its importance.
- Put up posters around the school with graphics and written guidance for students of all ages
Incorporate Hand Hygiene into General Health Lessons
As hygiene is such a focus today, it is not a bad idea to introduce proper hand hygiene in your lessons to ensure children have the proper knowledge. Discussions about hand hygiene, its importance, and the impact it has on the broader community can encourage students to practice what’s been learned and help to control infection rates.
Ensure Your School Has Proper Hygiene Solutions in Place
Do your best to encourage healthy habits and behaviours among students and faculty, by having the resources and proper hygiene solutions in place throughout your school.
By providing touch-free soap solutions in washrooms and hand sanitizers in entranceways, classrooms, and on student desks, you can guarantee that everyone has access to wash and disinfect their hands properly regardless of where they are in the school.
Turn to Wagg’s for Your Hand Hygiene Essentials
At Wagg’s, we provide a variety of washroom and facility products to maintain proper hand hygiene in your school. Whether you require hand sanitizing dispensers or soap dispensers and soap refills, our products are high quality, easy to use, and available in different colours and sizes.
Let us help you build a healthier school environment with effective solutions and products that can protect staff and students from the spread of covid and other illnesses. Get in touch with our team for a free, no-obligation quote.
We hope you have a happy and healthy back-to-school year!