Sunday, June 19, 2011

Germiest Places in Daycare Facilities and Tips for Keeping Them Clean

Guest Post by Peter J. Sheldon Sr., CBSE

Childcare facilities are known to harbor germs. Considering children touch their hands to their faces nearly 40-60 times an hour and are consistently coming into close contact with one another, germ control in these settings is crucial. By implementing some simple recommendations, daycares can help protect kids from the places most susceptible to lingering germs:

1. Water fountain buttons -- Public drinking fountains can harbor as many as 2.7 million bacteria per square inch on the spigot. Supply and encourage children to use paper cups when drinking from fountains.

2. Doorknobs -- They are high-touch points contaminated with germs from students and staff entering the room who do not follow proper hand hygiene. Cleaning doorknobs to classrooms, bathrooms and main entrances can help reduce the spread of germs. Keep hand sanitizers near the doorways and encourage kids to use them.

3. Pencil sharpeners -- Because bacteria can live on surfaces for as long as 72 hours, there is more than enough time for microbes to be transmitted from one person to another on one of the most-used devices in the classroom.

4. Desks -- The average desk has 100 times more bacteria than a kitchen table and 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet. Instead of depending on overworked custodial staff, have students help out by going over their desks with a disinfectant wipe each morning.

5. Restrooms -- One of the germiest places of all. E. coli and other fecal toxins are often found on nearly every surface. Reinforce good hand hygiene habits by encouraging students to liberally use soap and wash their hands long enough to sing “Happy Birthday” at least two times. Kids should also be encouraged to use paper towels to turn faucets off and on and to close the toilet lid before flushing.

Microfiber cleaning cloths are superior to cotton or other fabrics or disposable paper, proving to be 99% more effective at capturing and removing bacteria and soils. (Be sure to turn and change cloths often; also, cloths should be color-coded and devoted to a single, designated area to prevent the spread of germs through cross-contamination.)

Empower teachers, staff and students by using flyers, emails and meetings to reinforce the need to minimize germ transmission. Stress effective hand washing, and keep sanitizing stations visible and well-stocked. By combining effective hygienic cleaning and hand care education, you’ll reduce health risks and minimize absenteeism this summer.

PETER J. SHELDON SR., CBSE, an expert in the Building Services Contracting industry, brings over 20 years of experience to his position as Vice President of Operations & Development at Coverall Health-Based Cleaning System. Sheldon works closely with the Coverall sales and operations teams to spearhead initiatives that further the Company’s strategic objectives and help the company develop the most efficient and innovative cleaning processes available.

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