It is a dirty world out there and trying to avoid the microscopic pests that cause everything from mild irritations to agonizing death and everything in between is futile at best. Germs and colds can permeate a school and not just among students but to the office personnel, teachers and fellow parents as well.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 22 million school days are lost due to illness. This disturbing statistic makes NOW the perfect time to detail classrooms, cafeterias and school grounds. So where are the germiest places in schools?

In no particular order, these are some of the hotspots for germs:

  • Tops of Desks and Chairs: Students spend most of the day at their desks. That means any sneezes, coughs or … nasal leakage ends up all over. Students then touch their desktops and take those germs home to mom.
  • Electronics: Library keyboard, computer mouse for example.
  • Drinking Fountains: They are germier than toilet seats, but do not get disinfected as frequently, according to Rotbart. They are the perfect spot for kids to ingest microorganisms as they put their mouths on the stream of water — or right on the fountain itself.
  • Cafeteria Trays: Trays often are not thoroughly cleaned. Kids should carry trays to their tables, then use hand sanitizer before picking up food.
  • Bathroom Doors: School bathrooms are cleaned regularly. The bathroom door is another story. Not all kids wash their hands like they should, so exiting could be hazardous to your health.
  • Gym Equipment: Your kids might be passing germs along with those winning touchdowns. Worst of all, Rotbart said, is that football and other sports helmets are a good way to spread lice.
  • Playground Equipment: Any microorganisms on kids’ hands get spread to the monkey bars, the slide, the teeter totter, etc. where other children can pick them up.
  • Doorknobs: As with any doorknob in a public place, doorknobs in schools are touched numerous times each day and are rife with germs.
  • Hand Rails: Similar to doorknobs, hand rails are touched numerous times each day and are often overlooked when cleaning.

How can you get rid of, or decrease, germ spots?

  • Implement quality hand washing practices among students and staff.
  • Use up-to-date cleaning procedures and products.
  • Focus on germ hot spots.
  • Request a thorough cleaning once a week or month with your OctoClean specialist to help keep germy areas at bay.