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Most of us will have to go into the hospital some day. Here are specific steps you can follow to protect yourself from deadly hospital infections:
- Encourage students to clean their hands frequently.
- Parents, tuck a small container of hand sanitizer in your child’s book bag, if your child is mature enough to use it properly.
- Educators, ensure that all shared sports equipment (wrestling mats, baseball gloves, gymnastics equipment…) and locker room facilities such as benches are cleaned with detergents, which must remain on the surfaces for at least three minutes. Quick spraying and wiping is not effective.
- School authorities should periodically have surfaces in the gym and classrooms cultured, to know the extent of MRSA contamination.
- Warn students not to share gym clothes, towels, and other personal items. MRSA bacteria can live on fabrics and hard surfaces for up to ninety days.
- Educators, install dispensers of hand-sanitizer inside each classroom. Students should not have to get a hall pass and leave the classroom to clean their hands.
- Warn students against sharing bars of soap. Use pump dispensers only.
- Educators, make sure that when a student gets a cut or abrasion on the playground or in class, it is cleaned immediately by someone whose hands are also clean! Classrooms should have a first-aid kit or ready access to the help of a school nurse.
- School authorities should investigate the anti-microbial coatings available for use on sports equipments and other high-touch surfaces, and washable keyboards for computers.
- Athletes, gym teachers, and coaches are at higher risk of exposure to MRSA. In high contact sports, MRSA screening may be advisable.
These “10 Steps” are available in a color brochure.
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