From small children just starting kindergarten to college freshmen beginning their first semester on the big campus, students of any age need to be healthy and focused to perform at the top of their academic game.
However, it’s hard for students to be their best in environments that promote the spread of germs. That’s because germ-covered surfaces in schools have the potential to set off a cycle of illness that can lead to student and teacher absenteeism.
The cumulative impact of school absenteeism is costly. Teacher absences cost schools over $25 billion a year, a 2014 report by the International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA) revealed. Meanwhile, student absenteeism has been linked to lower achievement and higher school dropout rates, according to Attendance Works.
Students themselves recognize the importance of having a clean and healthy school. College students report that illness impacts their academic performance. According to 2015 American College Health Association, 14.6 percent of students surveyed said that a cold, flu or sore throat negatively impacted their academic performance.
For schools and colleges looking to improve the overall cleanliness of their facilities, one area in particular could be a prime target: the school restroom. As one of the most heavily trafficked locations in a school, the restroom is especially susceptible to spreading contagious germs. Placing touch-free hand sanitizer dispensers at key locations inside and outside the bathroom can encourage routine use of the tool.
Staying Healthy With Single-Use Paper Towels
Encouraging strong hand hygiene practices inside a school restroom, like drying hands with Kleenex® Multi-Fold Towels, can help students stay clean and healthy. Paper towels are the recommended hand drying method of the World Health Organization (WHO) Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care. Drying hands with single-use hand towels reduces bacteria on fingers by up to 77 percent.
An article published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings analyzed the hygienic efficacy of different hand-drying methods. The article concluded that paper towels are the best option in locations where “hygiene is paramount,” such as hospitals and clinics. It also determined that air dryers cause cross-contamination and deemed them unsuitable for these environments. “From a hygiene viewpoint, paper towels are superior to electric air dryers,” the article concluded.
Reinforcing the importance of a consistent hygiene practice inside the restroom can help students stay healthy as they work to achieve their full potential.