Five Germ Hotspots in Schools

Five Germ Hotspots in Schools

Public or private, pre-K to College, Vanguard Cleaning Systems of the Ozarks' subscription school cleaning services can help knock out infections in some of the germiest spots kids touch every day.

Five Germ Hotspots in Schools

Regular School Cleaning Combats the Spread of Infection

School facilities are petri dishes for germs of every kind, including:

  • Staphylococcus aureus.
  • Coxsackievirus.
  • Streptococcus pneumonia.
  • Streptococcus pyogenes.
  • Staphylococcus epidermidis.
  • Rubeola virus.
  • Norovirus.
  • Influenza A virus, and;
  • The Epstein-Barr virus.

The two primary causes behind the elevated number of easily transmissible germs and bacteria on school surfaces are:

  1. The considerable number of germ hotspots in school facilities, and;
  2. Student handwashing frequency and quality.


Common Germ Hotspots in and Around Classrooms

The five most commonly cited germ hotspots in or around school facilities and classrooms include:

  • School busses, especially on seats, poles, and windows where MRSA, E. coli, and staph infection are commonly found.
  • Shared toys, due to the fact that they are rarely -- if ever -- sanitized.
  • Bathrooms are a challenge that plagues every type of school facility across every age group due in part to spending cutbacks, the difficulties in keeping up with cleaning, and the high volume of foot traffic.
  • Cafeteria tables that suffer from numerous sanitation challenges ranging from requiring students in underfunded facilities to disinfect with used towels to not being cleaned between meals, and compounded by poor handwashing frequencies and habits, and;
  • Desks, especially in junior high, high school, and college classrooms where multiple students share the same workspace throughout the day, significantly increase the spread of infection.


Hand Hygiene Habits Contribute to Germ Transmission

In addition to the challenge of an abnormally high number of germ hotspots throughout education facilities, poor hand hygiene habits, a problem adults still face in the workplace, present additional barriers to student health and safety.

While reports show that, according to parents, students exhibit high levels of compliance when washing their hands after using the restroom, their apparent failure to clean them thoroughly at other key points during the day contributes to the number of germs contaminating school surfaces.

Troublingly, two of the most commonly cited reasons by students regarding their overall poor hand hygiene habits were:

  • School schedules did not allow time for proper handwashing times, and;
  • The cleanliness of school restrooms, or, more appropriately, the lack thereof.

According to a survey conducted by American Cleaning Institute;

Although most children (89%) reported that they washed their hands after using the restroom at school, far fewer said that they wash their hands at other times during the school day.

Nearly half said that the most common reason they failed to do so was because their school schedules did not allow them time.

For many students, the state of the schools’ toilets is a turn-off.

Twenty-one percent of students surveyed said that they didn’t like using their school’s restrooms (15% found their school’s restrooms "disgusting") while another 19% said their school restrooms didn’t have the proper supplies.

Forty-seven percent occasionally avoid the restrooms because they are dirty.

And, finally, some kids simply need to be told but aren’t: 16% said that "No one reminds me to."

Less than two-thirds of children say they wash their hands before lunch; 26% do not wash their hands after handling garbage. Only about half wash up after coughing, sneezing, or blowing their nose.

Survey Finds Hindrances to Hand Washing in Schools


References & Resources



School facilities and classrooms commonly experience high levels of foot traffic, and nearly every surface can be considered high contact, which presents several unique cleaning challenges.

Many districts are hindered by budgets that prevent effective cleaning measures and schedules, which increases the chances for germ transmission, student illness, absences, and poor classroom performance.

Vanguard Cleaning Systems of the Ozarks helps address these challenges through cost-effective cleaning schedules performed by highly trained service providers using the latest in state-of-the-art equipment and products.

This process ensures prices are affordable, costs are predictable, services are scalable, classrooms are safe, and students are healthy.

Need more capability from your janitor?--Let's talk.

In Oklahoma, dial 918-960-4450

In Arkansas, dial 479-717-2410

In Missouri, dial 417-812-9777

Vanguard Cleaning Systems of the Ozarks.

Vanguard Cleaning Systems of the Ozarks.