A video on the Good Morning America website showed how quickly germs can spread in a classroom. The ABC morning show was looking at the issue to illustrate that, as of January 5, up to 7 million people are reported to have been infected by the flu.
Schools are prime places for the spread of germs. GMA demonstrated that fact by conducting an experiment on the spread of germs using a fifth grade class at Southwest Chicago Christian School.
Unknowing to the entire class, two students participated by allowing the application of a powder to their hands that was only detectable by blacklight. Those students were told to go about their day as normal. A few hours later a blacklight was used to illuminate the kids and various surfaces throughout the classroom. The findings showed the “germs” were everywhere, including on eight other students (out of the 26), desks and chairs.
According to the classroom’s teacher, surfaces throughout the room are particularly difficult to keep clean while students are present.
For instance, within the first minute of the test, one of the “powdered” kids used the drinking fountain, touching the buttons and the spigot. Research shows that a water fountain spigot can have 2.7 million bacteria per square inch – more than 800 times the number found on a toilet seat. It’s also a commonly touched surface, which makes it a culprit for cross-contamination throughout the school.
At the conclusion of the experiment, students were shown how easily it is to spread germs from hands. As a result, many pledged to practice better handwashing.
The American Cleaning Institute encourages custodial executives to work with school administrators and education professionals to ensure that each building has the hygiene supplies it needs, so students and staff can easily wash their hands with soap and water. On a daily basis, they are on the front lines of ensuring a healthy and safe environment inside every school building.