Schools are heavily used and densely occupied spaces. Due to many factors like poor sitting, ventilation, maintenance and cleaning, indoor environmental quality problems are caused, because of which students suffer from various infections and diseases. Proper cleaning and disinfecting helps prevent spreading of such diseases. Here are few tips on how you can keep the school environment healthy.
- Differentiate between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing
Cleaning removes germs, dirt and impurities physically from objects. Cleaning is all about using soap/detergent and water to remove germs from the surfaces. This process doesn’t necessarily kill germs. But by removing and lowering their number, it prevents the risk of infection.
Disinfectingkills germs. Disinfecting refers to the use of chemicals to rule out the germs on surfaces and objects. Rather than cleaning dirty surfaces and removing germs, this process works by killing the germs after the surfaces are cleaned.
Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects. This process works either by cleaning or by disinfecting surfaces or objects
- Clean and disinfect often touched objects and surfaces
Routine cleaning and disinfecting is a must. The desks, doorknobs, countertops, faucet handles, computer keyboards, phones, toys, and other objects that are touched often need to be cleaned and sanitized on a daily basis. Some schools may also require disinfecting these surfaces daily. Follow your school’s standard procedures for cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting.
Clean surfaces immediately, if they are visibly soiled. If they are soiled with blood fluids or blood, you’d better use gloves to avoid coming into a direct contact with the fluid. Remove it first, and then clean and disinfect the surface.
- Do routine cleaning and disinfecting
The standard cleaning and disinfecting practices are sufficient to clean or remove the flu viruses, since they are fragile. No special cleaning and disinfecting process are required. Some of the disinfecting processes like wiping down walls and ceilings, frequently using room air deodorizers, and fumigating may result in eyes, nose, throat, and skin irritation, aggravate asthma, and may cause serious side effects. It is important to match the cleaning and disinfecting activities to the types of germs you want to remove or kill.
- Clean and disinfect correctly
Always follow label directions on disinfectants and cleaning products. Use general household cleaner to wash surfaces and remove germs. Rinse thoroughly with water, and follow with a disinfectant to kill germs. Read the label of the disinfectants to make sure that it is EPA-registered, and is approved for effectiveness against influenza A virus.
If you do not find an EPA-registered disinfectant, you can use a fresh chlorine bleach solution. To make and use the solution:
- Add 1 tablespoon of bleach to 1 quart of water.
- Apply the solution directly to the surface with a cloth.
- Leave it for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Rinse it off with clean water.
An EPA-registered product that both cleans and disinfects the germs should be used. Read the labels carefully as there may be separate procedures for using the same product as a cleaner or as a disinfectant. Disinfecting the germs may require the product to remain on the surface for a certain time being. While cleaning the electronics, make sure that they can withstand the use of liquids for cleaning and disinfecting.
- Use products safely
Do pay close attention to the hazards of the product on the labels. It is recommended that you wear gloves to protect your hand while working with bleach. Most of the cleaning products and disinfectants call for the use of safety measures.
Make sure that the ones who use cleaners and disinfectants are familiar with the proper use of products. They should read and understand all the instructions mentioned on the label for a safe and appropriate use. This might call for trainings, or even for the use of few instructional materials, in the language they understand.
- Handle waste properly
Waste should be handled under the school’s standard procedure.
- Place no-touch use baskets, where they are easy to be located and used.
- Use gloves while handling and disposing the waste.
- Throw all the disposable items used for cleaning in the trash, immediately after use.
- Do not touch used tissues and other waste materials with bare hands.
- Wash your hands with soap and water, immediately after emptying waste baskets, and touching used tissues and other waste.
Lack of proper waste handling causes rather serious health hazards.
You can get professional cleaning service for your school as well.