Doctors have known for years that the start of school, whether it's elementary school or college, often triggers the spread of illness.
In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, colds alone are responsible for 22-million lost school days every year. Another 38-million school days are lost due to the flu virus. Because most infectious diseases are transmitted by touching an infected person or by touching a surfaces contaminated with germs, it's important to know where your student is most likely to pick up a bug they could be bringing home to the rest of the family. Because when it comes to protecting yourself and your family knowledge is power.
So where are the worst places for picking up a bug at school? As you might guess, the school restroom is the epicenter of cross contamination, according to the C-D-C. But the following places, you might not think of are also among the germiest:
• Your child's backpack can pick up all kinds of germs. Doctors say the best protection is to avoid placing it on the dining room table or counters at home.
• Gym class can also be a germ factory, so its important to make sure your student washes his or her hands before and after class.
• You'll also find plenty of bugs--as many as 200 times the number of bacteria found on a toilet seat-- on computer keyboards, the computer mouse and any touch screens at school.
• School water fountains can also be a problem, housing as many as 2-point-seven million bacteria per square inch just on the spigot.
• And finally, your student's desk can hold up to 100 times more bacteria than a kitchen table.
So what's the best protection? Teaching your child to wash their hands often during the school day and again when they get home at the end of the day.