It’s that not-so-wonderful time of the year again, flu season. As a teacher you want to keep your classrooms as bacteria free as possible as to not make yourself or your students sick. However, it can be tricky when you are in a confined classroom with 20-30 students all day long.
The flu spreads from person to person through a sneeze or a cough. The flu can is spread through the air or through contact with infected surfaces. Iowa Prison Industries provides a variety of cleaning products to help keep the flu out. We compiled a list of tips and tricks to help stop the spread of germs in your classroom …
Encourage students to keep distance
Inform students of the proper way to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside corner of their elbow, never into their hands! Talk to students about the importance of staying home from school if they are feeling under the weather in order to protect other students from the flu. Tell your students that if they do come to school with flu symptoms, they should refrain from sharing items with other students. Students should never share items that are in direct contact with another student’s mouth such as water bottles or lip balm.
Inform students of the importance of washing hands
Hand washing is the best way to avoid the flu. Teach your students to wash their hands often with warm water and hand soap for at least 20 seconds. Make sure they know to lather their palms, backs of hands, between their fingers and underneath their fingernails when they wash. Teach students to wash their hands anytime they come in contact with anything a sick person might have used . Students should wash their hands or use hand sanitizers after each sneeze, cough, or each time they use a tissue in order to minimize the spread of germs.
Tell students not to touch their face
It wouldn’t hurt to encourage students to keep their hands away from their eyes, nose and mouth to avoid infections. Most people contact the flu from touching an infected surface, so touching an infected surface and then touching your face is an almost guaranteed way to catch the flu. You can also mention they should avoid putting objects that aren’t food such as pencils, paperclips, etc. in their mouths. Younger students are especially adaptable to the flu virus because they are more likely to chew on objects, pick their noses, or do other things that can spread bacteria.
Create a tissue waste basket station in your classroom
Another idea is to create a tissue waste basket station in a small corner of the room away from where the students spend most of their day. This way the germy tissues and nose-blowing is confined to one area. Make sure to keep tissues and hand sanitizer near the waste basket station. It’s a good idea to have other waste baskets in your classroom for other things, but make sure students know keeping used tissues in one place is a smart way to avoid spreading the flu.
Wipe down common surfaces with EPA-registered disinfectant
Keyboards, desks, doorknobs, the classroom pencil sharpener, and other frequently touched items need to be disinfected regularly to stop the spread of the flu virus. The flu virus is estimated to survive on a surface for two hours or more. This is why it is important to wipe down frequently touched items multiple times each day.
Keep community toys clean
Again, the flu is spread by touch. The stuffed animals and toy cars in the play area of your classroom might be covered in germs. You can wash stuffed animals, rinse off plastic toys such as Legos with soap and water, and wipe down board games with disinfecting wipes. Young children might touch their mouths then touch community toys or may even put pieces of toys in their mouths, so this is something to look out for.
Use HEPA filters to disinfect the air
HEPA means high-efficiency particulate-arresting. These filters can remove 99 percent of pollen, dust and bacteria from the air. They are great for students with allergies, but can also be used to minimize the spread of the flu. Opening the doors and windows on occasion is also good, because it allows the air to circulate, and get the potentially bacteria filled air out.
IPI offers a variety of products for your classroom to help prevent the spread of the flu and other germs in your school:
We also offer training of the cleaning products to insure teachers and other users have proper product knowledge and are aware of the best cleaning practices. To place an order, please visit the IPI website or contact Customer Service at 800-332-7922 or email@example.com.