Every person in the world has been affected by the global pandemic, and children are no exception. As school and childcare programs reopen for in-person education, teachers and administrators have had to make major modifications to daily operations to protect everybody’s health. In addition to social distancing, encouraging vaccination for eligible children, and enforcing masks, disinfection has taken center stage.
Tips for Disinfecting Schools and Childcare Facilities
Health and hygiene have always been top priorities in educational settings, but preventing the spread of COVID-19 requires a new level of vigilance. In addition to any state or local guidelines, follow these tips for disinfecting educational spaces:
Use an EPA-registered disinfectant.
Always make sure that any product you purchase for use in an educational setting is EPA registered and approved for use in schools. The market is full of unapproved products, so you cannot trust every label claim. However, products must prove efficacy to achieve EPA registration, so you can be confident that they will do what the label says. Budgets may be tight, but when it comes to disinfectants, choose EPA-registered products over cheaper options.
Pay attention to log kills.
There is a lot of buzz around efficacy, but it’s important to know that a kill rate of 99.9% is not that high. Take a moment to educate yourself (and your students, if they are the appropriate age) about log kills. In a nutshell, 99.9% is a 3-log kill rate, which means that if there are one million pathogens on a surface—coronavirus particles, for example—a product with a 99.9% kill rate will leave 1,000 particles behind. In contrast, a product with a 6-log kill rate will remove 99.9999% of pathogens and leave behind just one particle in a million.
Read and follow the EPA master label.
The label on a disinfectant product is just part of the story. Read the EPA master label to learn about the approved uses and ensure the product is appropriate for your needs. You might find that you can use a product for much more than just surface disinfection. For example, D7 can be used in a fogger to eliminate locker room odors or in laundry to clean and disinfect athletic uniforms.
Train the appropriate people.
Custodial staff may not be the only people that need to know how to apply disinfectant products. Teachers, coaches, nurses, cafeteria staff, and others may also need to use disinfectant products daily, so ensure they receive proper training on applying the products. Include disinfection best practices when onboarding new staff and build in periodic refresher training for everybody.
Allow plenty of time for application.
Disinfection should never be rushed. People need time to ensure that every surface is treated, so leave time in the daily schedule to allow for this. Whether a teacher is treating surfaces between classes or a custodian is making the rounds at recess, leave enough time for proper disinfection. Additionally, most products have a minimum recommended contact time for maximum efficacy. Know what it is and make sure it’s followed.
Maintain ample supplies.
Always have ample disinfection supplies, products, and equipment on hand for regular facility disinfection. This might include sprayers, foamers, foggers, paper towels, and so on.
Use D7 in Your Facility
D7 is an EPA-approved disinfectant for schools and childcare centers. The product is safe to apply and does not damage or corrode most materials, making it a good solution for environments that require repeated treatment. D7 is also versatile and can be applied as a spray, foam, or fog, depending on the specific situation.
Decon7 provides disinfecting and sanitizing products, application equipment, and training for your team. In addition to surface disinfectants, we also offer hand sanitizer so you can consolidate your purchasing and order all of your supplies in one place.
D7 is not new on the scene. Although it is effective against COVID-19, the formulation was first developed over a decade ago in a government-funded initiative. It has since been commercialized for a range of applications. For example, Lily’s Pad, an organization that serves children with compromised immune systems, has successfully used D7 for playground sanitation.
Learn more about D7 and its many applications on our facilities disinfection page. If you’re ready to try D7 in your school or childcare facility, contact us today for a consultation.