A clean and hygienic environment in schools is essential for the health and well-being of students and teachers. Today, with the spread of infectious diseases, cleaning and maintaining schools are becoming of utmost importance. Cleaning and hygiene play a critical role in reducing the risk of disease transmission, preventing the spread of germs, and promoting a healthy and safe learning environment.
Proper cleaning techniques and best practices help prevent the spread of nasty illnesses such as the flu, contracting colds, respiratory infections, and, more recently, COVID-19. By regularly cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces, promoting hand washing, and using proper ventilation, schools can reduce the risk of disease transmission and create a safe and healthy environment for students and staff.
In this blog, we will provide 10 cleaning tips to help keep your schools and educational facilities tidy.
Encourage Regular Hand Washing In Schools
To maintain good hygiene, it is recommended that people participate in hand washing to prevent and reduce the creation and spreading of germs. Using an appropriate hand-washing technique is critical in preventing this from occurring.
It’s advised that you wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, focusing on cleaning the palms of your hands, the back of your hands, fingers, and nails. People may use hand sanitiser if soap and water aren’t available as an alternative to this.
To promote hand washing in schools, it’s recommended that hand sanitiser stations are installed. Hand sanitiser stations should be strategically placed in high-traffic areas to be most effective. Locations include but are not limited to classrooms, bathrooms, and common areas. Doing so allows students and staff to access these stations conveniently throughout the day.
Another way to promote hand washing in schools is by displaying posters and signs that remind students and staff of the importance of hand washing. Posters should be placed in areas with high visibility and include images/information on proper hand-washing techniques.
Promoting hand washing in schools is essential for ensuring that proper hygiene practices are maintained and that germs are reduced. As a commercial cleaner specialising in school cleaning, is instrumental in providing a clean, sanitised, and safe educational environment for students and staff, by meticulously maintaining classrooms, hallways, and common areas.
Disinfect High-Touch Surfaces Regularly
High-touch surfaces are at a much higher risk of becoming contaminated with germs. Individuals frequently touch these surfaces throughout the day and can easily spread germs from person to person.
For example, a student who is carrying the flu virus can contaminate a doorknob by touching it, and then another student can become infected by touching the same doorknob and then touching their face. This can result in the rapid spread of illness within a school or community.
Poor hygiene practices can affect the spread of germs dramatically. High-touch surfaces are affected by inadequate cleaning and disinfection. These poor practices increase the risk of infection and people becoming unwell.
It is important to remember that not all germs are visible; many can survive for hours or even days on surfaces. This is why regular cleaning and disinfecting these touch points are essential to reduce the risk of illness and disease transmission.
Encourage Students to Cough and Sneeze into Tissues or Elbows
Coughing and sneezing are also common ways that germs can spread from person to person. When people cough or sneeze into their hands, germs are easily transferred to other surfaces or individuals that come into contact with them.
The most effective method of reducing the spread of germs is coughing or sneezing into a tissue or a person’s elbow. When someone coughs or sneezes into a tissue, germs can be contained and prevented from spreading to others. Additionally, tissues can be properly disposed of, reducing the risk of spreading germs.
Promoting the behaviour of coughing and sneezing into tissues or elbows is important for reducing the spread of germs and maintaining a healthy and safe environment in schools.
There are several steps schools can take to encourage this behaviour among students:
- Display posters: Put display posters in convenient and populated locations, such as classrooms and restrooms. These remind students to cough and sneeze into tissues or elbows. Posters can be educational and provide clear visual examples of the correct technique.
- Provide tissues and hand sanitiser: Ensure that tissues and hand sanitiser are readily available in classrooms and restrooms so students can easily access them when they need to cough or sneeze.
- Lead by example: Teachers and school staff can model the correct behaviour by coughing and sneezing into tissues or elbows. This can help to reinforce the message and show students that this behaviour is important.
Clean and Disinfect Classrooms Regularly
Conducting regular cleaning and disinfection of classrooms need to become more of a common occurrence. With the recent COVID-19 pandemic, it has become crucial to maintain clean classrooms to prevent the spread of the virus and other apparent illnesses.
Students and teachers populate classrooms frequently. It’s important to clean and disinfect these areas as they are a central hub for a majority of school activities. This means that germs, bacteria, and viruses can easily spread, putting students and staff at risk of falling ill. Regular cleaning and disinfecting help remove these harmful contaminants and reduce the risk of outbreaks and the spread of diseases.
In addition, a clean and hygienic environment in a classroom promotes a healthy and safe learning area for students. Students are more likely to focus and engage in their studies in a clean and well-maintained classroom compared to one that is dirty and not well-maintained. Students who feel comfortable in a clean working environment will be more likely to be more attentive and engaged in their learning process.
To ensure effective cleaning processes, classrooms should be cleaned daily and thoroughly cleaned, with disinfecting occurring at least once a week. Doing so will help ensure that dirt, dust, and other debris are removed from surfaces with germs, bacteria, or viruses attached.
Maintain Proper Ventilation
Proper ventilation is another important factor in preventing the spread of germs and reducing the risk of exposure to airborne pathogens. These viruses can be easily spread through the air and are a major infection source in classrooms and other public spaces.
Fresh airflow can provide adequate ventilation removing and diluting any pathogens in the air. This can be achieved by opening windows, using air conditioning units, or installing ventilation systems. Additionally, schools can opt for air filters which can also help trap and remove harmful particles from the air.
Encourage the Use of Face Masks
Face masks have become essential in our everyday lives, especially since the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic. Masks are widely used to prevent the spread of germs, particularly in crowded public places. Tiny droplets are dispersed into the air when a person speaks, coughs, or even sneezes. These droplets can travel several feet and remain in the air for several hours, making it easy for other people to inhale them.
Acting as a barrier, the mask prevents droplets from the nose or mouth from reaching others. In doing so, wearing a mask is a simple yet effective way of reducing infection rates.
To ensure that students, teachers and staff are protected, it is important to encourage the widespread use of masks. Here are some recommendations to help promote the use of masks in schools:
- Provide masks: Schools should provide masks to students who may not have them. This will ensure that all students have access and can wear them when required.
- Encourage mask breaks: Schools should allow students to take mask breaks when needed, especially during physical or outdoor activities which may cause difficulty breathing.
- Provide education on mask use: Schools should educate students on the proper use and handling of masks, including how to put them on and take them off, wash them and how often to replace them.
Store Cleaning Supplies Safely
Cleaning supplies can contain harmful chemicals that can cause serious harm if not stored properly. When cleaning supplies are stored near food, there is a risk of contamination that can result in food poisoning.
To prevent contamination and ensure easy access, schools should store cleaning supplies in separate areas away from food. This can be achieved by using a separate cabinet or room for cleaning supplies. All cleaning supplies should be clearly labelled and stored to prevent them from spilling or leaking.
Cleaning supplies should be kept in a location that is easily accessible. This is important in an emergency, such as a spill or a fire, where quick access to cleaning supplies can help contain the situation.
Train Staff and Students on Proper Cleaning and Hygiene Practices
To ensure that staff and students are educated about the best practices for cleaning and hygiene, schools must invest in adequate training to ensure this can occur. Knowledge is essential in maintaining a healthy and safe environment, particularly in schools where many people gather.
Training should cover various topics, including hand hygiene, using personal protective equipment (PPE), and adequately cleaning common areas and surfaces. Schools should also train staff and students on the appropriate disposal of waste, including used tissues and gloves.
Moreover, educational facilities should provide regular reminders and updates on cleaning and hygiene practices to keep the information fresh in staff and students’ minds. This can be done through posters, flyers, announcements, and regular training sessions.
Implement a Cleaning Schedule
Implementing a cleaning schedule is crucial in ensuring that a school remains clean and hygienic at all times.
A cleaning schedule helps to keep the school clean and hygienic by ensuring that all areas are cleaned thoroughly. Common areas that should be cleaned include classrooms, restrooms, the cafeteria, and frequently touched surfaces such as door handles and light switches.
To enforce an effective cleaning schedule, schools should opt to include staff and students. The schedule can be implemented in different ways but more commonly through regular communication, training sessions, and reminders.
Two main methods for developing a cleaning schedule are using a software program or a manual system.
- Using a software program: Many software programs can help you develop a cleaning schedule. These programs allow you to assign tasks easily, set reminders and track the completion of cleaning duties. They also allow you to create a customised cleaning schedule that fits the specific needs of your school.
- Using a manual system: As an alternative, you can develop a cleaning schedule using a manual system. This involves creating a written schedule that outlines when and how certain areas of the school will be cleaned, who will be responsible for cleaning, and the supplies used. This schedule can be posted in a visible location, such as a bulletin board or the main office, and regularly reviewed to ensure that it is being followed.
Regularly Review and Update Cleaning Procedures
Regularly reviewing and updating cleaning procedures is essential in ensuring that a school remains clean and hygienic. Over time, these procedures may become outdated or ineffective, and it is necessary to review and update them regularly to ensure that they remain relevant and practical.
By regularly reviewing and updating cleaning procedures, you can stay up-to-date with the best practices in cleaning and disinfection.
There are several recommendations for regular review systems, which include surveys and feedback from staff and students.
- Surveys: Surveys are an effective way to gather feedback from staff and students about the cleanliness of the school. Questions can often be about the overall cleanliness of the school, the availability of cleaning supplies, and how effective cleaning procedures are.
- Feedback from staff: Feedback from staff is integral to conducting regular reviews. This can include asking staff about their experiences with cleaning procedures, their opinions on the availability of cleaning supplies, and their suggestions for improvements.
- Feedback from students: Feedback from students is also important in conducting regular reviews. This can include asking students about their experiences with cleanliness in the school, the availability of hand sanitisers and other cleaning supplies, and their suggestions for improvements.
In summary, maintaining a high level of cleanliness and hygiene in schools is essential for creating a healthy, safe, and productive learning environment. By implementing best practices in cleaning and disinfection, training staff and students on proper cleaning and hygiene practices, and conducting regular reviews, schools can ensure that they maintain a high level of cleanliness and hygiene. Commercial cleaning services, like PCCS, specialise in school environments, are essential for ensuring a safe, hygienic, and conducive learning atmosphere for students and staff alike. For all your school and educational facility cleaning, contact us today.