A classroom cleaning checklist is probably the last thing on a stressed out mother’s mind. BUT, it’s an essential part of parenting in today’s super bacteria laden world. Parenthood is messy, literally and figuratively. After all, kids are dirty, grimy little creatures (who we of course love and adore) that carry with them countless types of germs from one place to another (i.e the classroom to the sand box and back home), requiring countless disinfectant wipes every hour. Of course, this is OK; a little dirt is a normal part of growing up–we’re not going to stop our kids from chasing the latest Pokemon Go character from one germ-filled place to another. But it’s not really dirt that is the problem, but the germs and the virus’ they carry that we, as parents, need to worry about. When kids are around other children, and are in an environment, such as school, swarming with other people (and their germs) it’s nearly impossible to keep things as clean and hygienic as we want them to be, hence the need for every parent to know and teach their kids what items they must keep on their classroom cleaning checklist.
According to a report from CNN, “on average, elementary school children get eight to 12 colds or cases of the flu each school year…for the older kids, it is about half that. Teachers and parents commonly refer to it as the Back-to-School Plague.” Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Just when you start getting excited about having your kids back in school and out of the house, they are suddenly exposed to what CNN refers to as a “plague.” Yikes.
But there is hope for avoiding the common cold, the flu and other sicknesses in schools. All you need to do is master a simple classroom cleaning checklist to teach your kids healthy hygiene practices for staying safe and germ-free at school.
1. The Difference Between Clean, Disinfected and Sanitized
In addition, it’s important to understand the difference between clean, disinfected and sanitized. These terms are often used interchangeably, but they actually mean very different things. The CDC explains that, “Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects…Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects…Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements.”
If you want your kids to keep their school space clean and healthy, they need to know what each of these terms means, and practice all three of them regularly and intelligently. Your kids should be washing their hands to keep clean, they should be making sure schools are using cleaning supplies to disinfect surfaces they regularly touch (e.g. desks, chairs etc.) and they should be using hand sanitizer when possible to minimize their exposure to infections.