Making the grade through proper disinfection

Every year, millions of children get sick with colds, flu or norovirus – a highly contagious “stomach bug.” The ripple effect can be tremendous. Children miss days of school and risk falling behind in their studies. Teachers and staff lose work time when they pick up the “germ du jour,” and parents often have to take time off from work to care for their children. Not all illnesses are preventable, but there are some common-sense ways for schools to help prevent the spread of common infectious illnesses.

The National Education Association Health Information Network and the American Chemistry Council’s Chlorine Chemistry Division recently announced a new video series aimed at demonstrating proper cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting practices in schools.

“Research shows that there’s a vital link between clean school buildings, improved indoor environmental quality, and healthy students and staff,” said NEA Health Information Network’s Executive Director, Jim Bender. “Our goal for the video series is to share best practices, while highlighting the benefits of implementing a comprehensive cleaning program, which is the key to a healthier school.”

The video series is a relevant resource for all school staff, but is especially important for Education Support Professionals, including the staff who strive to maintain clean, healthy environments in schools across America day in and day out. These individuals are also the “first responders” to health incidents involving the sudden onset of illness in schools. The series includes important information about the difference between cleaning, sanitizing, and targeted disinfecting, how to select the right product for the job, and how to use and store cleaners and disinfectants—like chlorine bleach—safely.

“Flu, colds, norovirus and MRSA can spread rapidly via contaminated surfaces in schools, sickening students, teachers and staff, and reducing valuable learning time,” said Judith Nordgren, Managing Director of ACC’s Chlorine Chemistry Division. “Our aim in collaborating with the NEA Health Information Network is to communicate clearly the safe, effective use of cleaners, sanitizers and disinfectants for healthy schools and healthy students, teachers and staff.”

For several hours every day, school buildings are the critical learning and social environments for America’s children. The new video series helps optimize the health of these physical spaces, a step that can only help our kids thrive in every way.

The video series can be found on the NEA HIN’s website at: http://neahealthyfutures.org/get-informed/school-safety/environmental-health/clean-schools/.

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