Germs lurk anywhere children touch regularly. These places include desks, doorknobs, light switches, and water fountain toggles – even on pencil sharpeners, soap dispensers, computer keyboards and toys. Even the teacher’s ID lanyard becomes a place where germs could hide out.

To avoid coming down with the flu yourself and to keep your students in a healthy environment, there are steps that you can employ during this important time of year when germs seem to be at an all-time high. Cleaning routines can be revisited and enhanced where necessary to ensure germs have no place left to hide at the end of the school day.

Before going into specific techniques for cleaning, it should be said that timeliness in cleaning the classroom is as important as how the area is cleaned. Some classrooms have desks where only one student occupies the same desk each day. Junior and senior high school classrooms are visited by several students throughout a single day.

In most classrooms, desks, badge lanyards and other areas are typically cleaned once a day. However, classrooms in which new students enter and leave with each passing period really could be cleaned after each class. This sounds like a lot of work; but really, wiping desks down takes less than five minutes and eliminates germs so that they don’t pass from student to student via desks or doorknobs.

The reason why badge lanyards are mentioned in the cleaning process is because the ID lanyard is a big part of campus life. Teachers and students alike can be seen wearing keys or ID badges from an ID lanyard. Because these items may hang between two people, they are at risk to attracting germs. When teachers keep keys on badge lanyards, they are used frequently and also touch several other objects throughout the day. Cleaning an ID lanyard is as simple as wiping it down with a sanitizing wipe once a day.

In addition to educating students and parents in germ-fighting techniques, teachers can maintain healthy classrooms by using sanitizing wipes or spray to wipe down counters and desks each day. This process takes only five minutes to complete. Spending a little more time, teacher or students can also wipe down pencil sharpeners, doorknobs and light switches and computer keyboards. In classrooms where toys or other equipment is used by students, such as plastic figures, math manipulatives or science equipment; extra sanitizing is necessary to rid germs of the area.

Be sure to throw away sponges and to clean sinks, including knobs. Custodial staff typically empty trash receptacles each day; but teachers and students can work to ensure that all used tissues and towels make it into trash cans throughout the day.

Enlist the help of parents to further your classroom germ-fighting techniques by sending home a flyer on the subject of germs. When parents, students and teachers work together to learn about and fight flu-causing germs in the classroom, everyone stands a better chance of avoiding lingering coughs and sniffles during the busy school year.