Dr. Rob Donofrio, director of microbiology and molecular biology for the National Safety Foundation in Ann Arbour, Michigan was cited as saying that items such as food trays, headphones, keyboards, animal cages and water spigots may be typical in a school, but they also harbour millions of bacterial germs just waiting to come home with your child each and every day.
Donofrio was quoted as saying, "We found toilets and door handles have fewer germs because they are cleaned and disinfected most often. Other surfaces, such as drinking water fountains and headphones, are often overlooked and, as a result, have even more micro-organisms. Even animal cages, aquariums can create the area for pathogens such as salmonella, and most pre-school or kindergarten classes usually have some pets in the classroom."
Part of the responsibility of keeping classes virus-free is the promotion of handwashing. Graham White, spokesman for the Calgary Board of Education, says teachers take the time to ensure that children learn the habit of spending 20 seconds with soap and water to cut down the transfer of viruses and bacteria.
This procedure has also been recently endorsed by Alberta Health and Wellness. A program called It’s in Your Hands was launched recently to bring greater awareness about clean hands during flu season.