DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla., Oct. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Keeping children healthy is never an easy task, especially when they spend much of their day in schools, which are breeding grounds for germs and bacteria. As many as 189 million school days are lost each year in the United States because of the common cold alone. And with flu season approaching, the number of sick days likely will increase. One way to help reduce illness is with proper cleaning techniques like those included in the Coverall Health-Based Cleaning System® Program.
Recent studies by Dr. Charles Gerba, a University of Arizona environmental microbiologist and infection control expert, have shown that proper disinfection of school surfaces such as desks, cafeteria tables -- even pencil sharpeners – can reduce bacteria by up to 99.9 percent and lead to a 50 percent reduction in absenteeism.
But most school cleaning crews do not use the hygienic practices needed to kill germs. A study at a Midwest childhood education center measured biological contamination on surfaces and found that levels of bacteria and toxins doubled from the end of the school day to the following morning. The study measured the presence of ATP (Adenosine Tri-Phosphate), which is in all living cells, and found a higher count of ATP the morning after cleaning, indicating that janitorial crews helped spread germs through improper cleaning techniques.
"It is crucial that schools use health-focused cleaning providers to offer up-to-date cleaning procedures to help eliminate bacteria and reduce illness, especially during cold and flu season," said Gerba.
Coverall's system is proven to reduce the spread of illness-causing germs through the use of:
- EPA-registered, hospital-grade disinfectants that kill harmful organisms on surfaces
- Microfiber cloths that attract and hang on to germs to eliminate cross-contamination
- HEPA vacuums that capture 99 percent of airborne particles and germs under .3 microns, ensuring that the air is cleaner
"The Coverall® Program uses the tools and techniques necessary to battle the spread of infectious diseases and helps markedly reduce the risk of illness in schools and other places where large numbers of people come in contact with each other," said Jim Congrove, Coverall Chief Operating Officer. "We also encourage parents to teach their children about the importance of proper hand washing to help the cause."
Children catch about eight colds each year, and up to 20 percent of Americans -- including children who are at higher risk – will contract the flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Coverall and Dr. Gerba suggest these ways to go on the offensive against germs:
- Hand washing – Washing hands frequently is still one of the best ways to stay healthy. The CDC recommends washing hands vigorously using warm water and soap for 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing the "Happy Birthday" song twice). Alcohol-based hand sanitizing products can augment hand washing.
- High-touch points – Children touch hundreds of surfaces every day. To help keep them from transferring germs from one place to another during the "sick season," educators should use sanitizing wipes several times a day to clean some of the germiest places in schools --doorknobs, keyboards, desks, faucet handles and light switches.
- No touch -- Help children break the habit of frequently touching their faces, especially their noses, eyes and mouths, which act as portals for germs.
- Stay home -- If children show symptoms of a cold or other illness, keep them home so they won't infect other students and staff at school.
About Coverall Health-Based Cleaning System®
Founded in 1985, Coverall Health-Based Cleaning System® is one of the world's leading franchisors of commercial cleaning businesses with a worldwide network of more than 90 Support Centers and 9,000 franchisees. Coverall Franchise Owners currently service nearly 50,000 customers in over 90 metropolitan areas. The Coverall Health-Based Cleaning System® Program is revolutionizing the commercial cleaning industry with its science-based cleaning processes and procedures designed to reduce cross-contamination and aid infection control. For more information, visit www.coverall.com.
About Dr. Gerba
Widely known as "Dr. Germ," the world's leading expert on infectious disease has, over the past 20 years, conducted research and development of new disinfectants and methods for detection of bacteria and viruses and microbial risk assessment. Dr. Gerba has authored more than 400 articles and several textbooks on environmental microbiology. He is the co-author of "The Germ Freak's Guide to Outwitting Colds and Flu: Guerilla Tactics to Keep Yourself Healthy at Home, at Work and in the World," and has been featured as an infection control expert in The Wall Street Journal, Good Morning America, ABC News and in a variety of other national magazines and newspapers.
SOURCE Coverall Health-Based Cleaning System