Back to school for many parents means much less joy and a time filled with flu, coughs and diarrhea. Whether elementary of high school, infections are known to spread causing misery and absenteeism. There was doubt that classrooms are an area for infections until the influenza epidemic in 2009; since then there are efforts to find a way to prevent the spread of disease.
The obvious means to prevent the spread of infections is the safety of the environment by using hand sanitizers and disinfectants, which may be enough to reduce gastrointestinal illness; however the result was not impressive to reduce the spread of colds and flu.
This lack of change is not because of the inability of the products to kill infections but rather due to using them improperly by the students. This explanation was given credence by researchers who revealed that hand hygiene is the key to reduce illness and absenteeism.
Schools were provided with posters of the instructions and students were taught to use hand sanitizers and wash their hands properly. There was an immediate reduced level of absenteeism, but by the halfway of the school year, improvement disappeared because the students over the year course either ignored or forgot the instructions.
That is why hygiene education was suggested to become part of the academic curriculum to make sure students follow them continuously. Still, taking time to instruct and monitor students would be a great burden on the schools and teachers.
In the past few years, this was addressed by social media and Internet campaigns to help improve hygiene education worldwide. A new effort is launched to make students more aware of hygiene at home and in schools; the Australian “Children’s Global Hygiene Foundation” is trying to develop an international group of germ- fighting children and to put pressure on the governments all over the world to pass hygiene education legislation in school curricula.