Schools can be a hotbed of germs, and if you’re a teacher, you’ll be no stranger to the abundance of bugs that can spread like wildfire in a classroom environment. Keep yourself and your class healthy with these easy classroom hygiene hacks.
1. Replace soft furnishings with wipe-clean covers
Classroom germs aren’t easily removed from soft furnishings. For easier cleaning, replace regular cushions or beanbags with wipe-clean vinyl versions. A quick daily treatment with anti-bac spray will help keep germs from getting too comfy. Carpets help make your classroom welcoming, but opt for a tightly woven type instead of a deep, plush one.
2. PAY ATTENTION TO HANDLES AND KNOBS
Germs are spread more quickly in the places that are touched the most – such as door handles and toilet flushes. To minimise infection risk and stop classroom germs spreading, wipe these down regularly, along with any other frequently-touched shared surfaces like computer keyboards.
3. MAKE IT A GAME
It’s not easy for us to understand the importance of hygiene when germs are invisible. Help students to see the effects of poor hygiene by observing the spread of glitter! Simply rub hand lotion on the children’s hands to help it stick, then sprinkle glitter onto their palms. Let them loose into the classroom and they’ll see for yourselves how far the glitter can spread – as can germs when they’re not properly scrubbed from your hands.
4. PERFECT YOUR TECHNIQUE
Many small children do ‘wash their hands’ but not very effectively. And lots of adults do the same! Make sure you’re doing it right: you’ll need both water and soap for a thorough wash. Wet your hands under the tap, work up a lather and rub your hands together, palm to palm, palm to the back of your hand and with fingers interlaced, for at least 20 seconds. Rinse and dry thoroughly. Introduce a song for children to sing, to encourage them to wash for longer.
5. TEACH THEM THE RIGHT WAY TO SNEEZE
Help keep your classroom hygienic by limiting the spread of germs when children sneeze! It’s second nature to ‘catch’ a sneeze in our hands, but as we’ve seen, hands can spread bugs far and wide. As an alternative, train children to use the crook of their elbow – a technique also known as the Dracula sneeze!
6. CLEAR UP THE CLUTTER
It’s harder to keep surfaces clean if they’re covered in clutter. Do a regular tidy-up and make sure there’s a place for everything, using storage solutions to make life easier for time-poor teachers! By decluttering regularly, you’ll minimise opportunities for germs to lurk.
7. Have washing facilities on hand
Regular hand washing is the simplest and most effective way to prevent the spread of germs. It’s easier for everyone to stay hygienic when everything they need is close at hand – as in our modular classrooms with their own child-level sinks and toilets. Bacteria spread more easily from wet hands than dry ones, but many young children are scared to use electric hand dryers, so have a supply of paper towels for them to use.