As many cities have lifted the strictest measures and the educational system begins to resume its activities, people are considering installing soap dispenser stations at schools. It is because it is increasingly important to implement all possible actions to guarantee the health and safety of the students under their care, especially considering the great health crisis that the world is facing.
Authorities such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) assure that there is no more meaningful preventive measure than maintaining hand hygiene and cleaning them properly or frequently. Therefore, there are certain must-haves in this case: ordinary soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
But what is the best option? Experts say that traditional soap and water are always the best alternative. However, in cases where neither product is available or where they are unlikely to be found quickly, alcohol-based hand sanitizer may work very well. This option is much more effective in spaces where there are usually fewer people and reduced physical contact.
So what should schools do?
Since the spread of the coronavirus throughout the world and the announcement of the pandemic by the World Health Organization, many manufacturers of disinfection equipment have introduced various solutions to the market in order to help people or organizations in need comply with hygiene protocols.
One of them is the soap dispenser stations. There are dispensers of all kinds; some are for hand sanitizer and others for soap, for example. However, defining which is the best option will always depend on the circumstances.
As mentioned, hand sanitizer is a good alternative for less-traveled spaces, but this is not the case in schools. Schools are often full of people, students, teachers, administrative staff, cleaning staff, and more. Therefore, betting on the only use of hand sanitizer dispensers is not an efficient enough solution.
That is why specialists recommend that schools install soap dispenser stations and create hygiene spaces so that students can disinfect themselves and reduce the risks of becoming infected or infecting others.
As is evident, these should be installed in places where people can also have access to a sink or a water pipe to be able to rinse the soap. Bathrooms are usually the most common places where companies and institutions install soap dispensers.
However, in many places, innovative soap dispenser stations with special mechanisms for people to wash their hands have been created. Usually, they are installed in key points of school facilities, buildings, among others.
Where should each soap dispenser station be placed?
These are some of the places where it is considered ideal to install a soap dispenser station so that people can disinfect their hands.
Authorities recommend schools to place hygiene stations outside and inside building entrances so that each person entering the building can wash their hands. Besides, they also ask schools to require both staff and students and teachers to comply with these regulations.
It is also quite important to place sinks and soap dispenser stations in cafeterias. Before eating, students should wash their hands with soap and water. They can do this in the restrooms, but they are not usually as close to the cafeterias as hygiene stations. Thus, schools should consider installing one or more at the entrance of the cafeteria and in the place where students line up to look for food.
If the school is using the gym, it is also important that a soap dispenser station be placed on its premises. The entrances would be the key places in this case. Moreover, there are many schools that are using their gyms as an alternative place to avoid crowds in cafeterias, and in these cases, it is essential to have a space where students can wash their hands before and after eating.
Libraries, auditoriums, or laboratories.
These spaces are usually full of students at all times. Therefore, a hygiene station is essential. In addition to gymnasiums and cafeterias, libraries, laboratories, multipurpose rooms, and auditoriums are often the mass meeting spaces in institutions. For them, experts recommend installing soap or hand sanitizer dispensers at the entrances.
All classrooms should have a type of hygiene station where students can wash their hands. Many place alcohol-based sanitizer dispensers, but this is not enough in all situations. Schools should install soap dispenser stations very close to or at the entrances of classrooms so that both students and teachers can sanitize their hands before entering.
Additionally, each classroom should have a hand sanitizer dispenser available in strategic locations around the site, especially if students share educational supplies, tools, or resources.
Determining the number of soap dispenser stations requires an assessment of the circumstances. The busiest places should have more hygiene stations, as well as entrances and dining rooms. In outdoor spaces, schools can install disinfectant dispensers since people are not usually very close to them. But, when they return, they need to wash their hands with soap and water. Thus, according to recommendations, there should be a disinfection station in any space.
As mentioned at the beginning of the post, the authorities have agreed that the most effective preventive measure is to wash our hands with soap and water. For this reason, it is essential that schools optimize their hygiene spaces both for their students and for the staff who work in the institution.
Hand sanitizers can be really good, but they are not highly recommended in spaces where there are usually many people gathered -as is the case in schools. Soap dispenser stations are a great alternative to them.
Taking care of our health not only implies eating well and exercising, but also taking care of the spaces where we live and interact with other people to reduce the risk of diseases and infections. Soap dispenser stations for schools can make a difference! Let's ask the school authorities to consider them as a good option to ensure the protection of all students and staff who work in their facilities.