Sanitisation and Safety in Schools

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Stopping the spread is one of the many issues in this Corona Virus pandemic. Schools are excellent at educating our children and keeping them safe, at the best of times. However, currently, these are not the best of times and with research confirming children as spreaders, this pandemic places added responsibilities on schools to keep children safe and help prevent the spread.

Risk assessments show how schools are managing the risks involved – but there is no doubt that when it comes to sanitisation – the range and claims of the products available – is a minefield. As sanitisation is a regulation – its obligatory. Where to start?

Let’s ask a few simple questions:

What’s the difference between sanitisers and alcohol free sanitisers?

  • The Government guidelines now state that alcohol free sanitisers are acceptable. Sanitisers containing alcohol can cause dryness, irritation and may trigger existing skin conditions.
  • Alcohol free sanitiser contains extracts to enhance and smooth the skin, with the added advantage of not having to use much.
  • Some alcohol free sanitisers offer 6 hours protection – very reassuring, even after repeated washing.

What are the benefits of alcohol free sanitiser?

  • Peace of mind that you really are doing your best to minimise the risks.
  • Non- flammable material – reducing the fire risk. A Secondary School was recently reported breaking the hand sanitisation protocol in order to use Bunsen Burners in class.
  • School staff can be confident that they are meeting the sanitising requirements safely and in a manner that cares for everyone.

Are sanitisers being used?

Difficult one! Some Sanitisers are being used more than others. As mentioned, Sanitiser containing alcohol may cause irritation, and dryness – which may explain a reluctance to use it.  However, as part of the education process – for the school community, it is helpful to be confident that alcohol free sanitiser offers a solution.

School Playing Surfaces also need to be sanitised such as Artificial Pitches can be full of germs

The plastic sports pitches can be full of bacteria; It is quite frightening when you find out how many germs lie in artificial pitches, largely caused by animals in the air or on the ground, human beings and their ejection of bodily fluids and in particular the sportsman’s need to spit. Some of the pitches are water based and the water lies and stagnates which also gives rise for more nasty things to be present, and no matter how clean they may look there is danger lurking.

The obvious danger is while playing sport, a child may fall either get, or has an open wound which allows the germs to enter the wound and if not treated immediately could cause further problems. This issue is being highlighted in the USA where the liability laws are onerous on the facility.

All artificial pitches are maintained to differing standards and of course there are many that are clean, but it is worth asking the question how often, and what products are used to ensure that children are safe.

Make sure the pitch maintenance team use a recognised product that will not just clean the pitch but also sanitise it and also the other bits such as goalposts and even the balls.

Again, find a product that is suitable and has certification that backs up and gives proof of its efficiency and use it to get closer to a better standard of cleanliness and protection for our children in schools.

Our children must be kept safe, and all of us must help as much as we can.


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