Germ patrol: Where germs are lurking in schools
Grab the disinfecting wipes. You'll want to do some serious sanitizing after reading this article. In 2010, scientists from the University of Arizona swabbed six K-12 schools to find out where the germs were congregating. The most contaminated area? The cafeteria. Here, we share the other top spots germs are found in schools, plus tips on how to keep your little scholars clean and healthy.
The germiest place found by the University of Arizona study, led by Dr. Charles Gerba, was none other than the very place where school kids eat — the school cafeteria. Yes, kids are eating off surfaces infested with heterotrophic bacteria and coliforms (microbes found in the intestines of humans and other animals). Yummy.
When you hear the term "computer virus," you're probably not thinking about the microscopic bugs crawling around the laptop — or more specifically, on the computer mouse. When you think about it, it makes sense. Kids are using the same hand on the mouse that they use throughout the day to grab door handles, rub their noses, even wipe themselves. (We warned you this wasn't going to be pretty.) The computer mouse was crawling with twice as many germs as the desks analyzed in the study.
You may have the best little hand washers in town. Despite their best efforts, they may be picking up viruses directly from the bathroom sink and paper towel handle — two of the most germ-infested spots in school.
It's no surprise water fountains are swarming with bacteria. Some students think they need to make out with the faucet to quench their thirst. Ew.