Back to School = Start Washing Those Hands

The dog days of summer are behind us…

We hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day Weekend and returned refreshed to the office or excited to begin another school year.

September always begins with a “clean slate” feeling for everyone headed back to school, students and teachers alike. And for those of us who aren’t returning to the classroom, it’s hard to shake the urge to go out and buy some new clothes or notebooks.

Along with packing lunches and ironing clothes the night before, hand washing should be on that “back to school” list of behaviors to get reacquainted with after the summer months.


Hand washing is an incredibly important step in basic personal hygiene for people of all ages, there’s no doubt about that. And as students spend more time with each other learning and playing (as well as eating and using the restroom), it is an imperative step in avoiding illness.

The Center for Disease Control reports most common bugs and viruses can live for anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours on doorknobs, cafeteria tables, and desktops — basically every surface students and teachers come into contact with (not to mention one another!) for seven or so hours a day, five days a week.

Hand washing with soap and water is the simplest and one of the most effective ways to kill germs and keep them from spreading and avoid getting sick.

According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, children in school environments can have as many as 12 colds per year — which lead to nearly 22 million school days lost each year, just to the common cold.

Children who wash their hands at least four times a day can greatly decrease their chance for illness. In fact, students who wash their hands regularly during the school day reduce the number of days they miss class for stomach-related illness by over 50%, and 25% for respiratory problems.

As we head into fall, it’s important to brush up on frequent hand washing. You don’t want “back to school” to be synonymous with “back to the doctor.”

back to school


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