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For the Classroom

You Wouldn't Believe the Places You Will Find Germs in Your Classroom!

As a teacher or educator, you can help keep your students healthy and contain the spread of germs with a few extra cleaning and disinfecting steps

Books and container of pencils on teachers desk in front of blackboard with chalk pictures of planets and comets

School custodians do a great job of keeping things clean, but the battle against germs in the classroom is never-ending. Identifying and tackling the places you might not have known that germs congregate can help you reduce the number of germs in your classroom.


The perils of the pencil sharpener

Whether it’s an old-fashioned wall-mounted sharpener, or a small collection of hand-held sharpeners that get passed around, the humble pencil sharpener could be the germiest item in your classroom.

 

How to conquer it

Encourage students to bring in and keep track of personal pencil sharpeners. You can also send home notes to parents asking them to supply sharpeners. Consider getting rid of your wall-mounted classroom model, if you have one, in favor of hand-helds that you keep in your desk and lend to one child at a time (and wipe down after each use).

 

A case for banishing bean bags

Comfy seats are cool, but they could be making your students sick. Kids with allergies or asthma are especially prone to becoming infected by the pathogens that soft items collect.

 

How to conquer it

You can reduce pathogen levels from dust, pollen, and pet dander by minimizing the objects that attract them—and that can’t be easily cleaned. Items like bean bag chairs, sofas or recliners, stuffed animals, and rugs or carpets can trap and hold pathogens and germs. Ditch as many of these dust-traps as possible for a healthier classroom.

 

Surprising sink issues

With all the soap, water, and hand washing that goes on at the classroom sink, you might assume it’s the cleanest place in the room. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. Not all students will follow proper hand washing techniques—so the tap handles, the counter around the sink, and any dispensers become havens for germs.

 

How to conquer it

Post a chart at the sink that shows the proper way to wash hands: Use soap, scrub for several seconds, and then rinse and dry thoroughly. Hold a classroom hand-washing demonstration, especially if you teach younger kids. Keep a package of disinfecting wipes at the sink for wiping counters, sink handles, and dispensers.

Child on second row of desks raises hand to alert teacher at front of classroom

Safe scrubbing for common areas

There are some areas that see a lot of student traffic—and germs are bound to follow. Desktops, tables, and counters are constantly touched throughout the day, and the same goes for door handles, door frames, and toys like blocks, dolls, trucks, and books. On the other hand, you can’t use harsh chemicals on surfaces your students frequently contact.



How to conquer it

Regular cleaning with soap and water washes away grime and dirt, but doesn’t kill germs. Using a disinfectant like Lysol®  Multi-Purpose Cleaner with Hydrogen Peroxide which does not leave harsh chemical residue, will begin to destroy germs on contact, creating safer surfaces for kids.

Bonus tips for cleaner, healthier classrooms

STOCK UP FOR THE YEAR

Having the right supplies on hand to fight germs is crucial. Invest in a supply that will last the entire school year. Keep items like tissues, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes in convenient locations.

Canister of Lysol Disinfecting wipes on colorful foam floor next to toys and blackboard with chalk drawings
Teacher and six children sitting at school table talking with hands held out

ENLIST STUDENTS IN GERM-FIGHTING EFFORTS

Encourage your students to wash their hands frequently—not just after bathroom trips, but also after meals or snacks, class activities, and sharing materials with others. Also, reinforce covering their mouths when they cough or sneeze, either with a tissue or their sleeves (never use bare hands!).

Parent looking at thermometer while holding hand to forehead of unhappy child

KEEP AN EYE ON SICK STUDENTS

If one of your students seems unable to stop coughing or sneezing, or is showing other signs of sickness, don’t hesitate to send them home when appropriate. This not only helps protect classmates from catching germs, but also enables the sick child to recover faster.

When your whole classroom works together to prevent germs, you can enjoy a healthier, happier school year.

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