Occasionally, reading the CDC site can be overwhelming and confusing. Let’s break down the guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting your space because they are all very different. Cleaning is using soap and water to remove germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. This helps to lower the risk of spreading infections. Disinfecting actually kills the germs on the surface after it has been cleaned. It is very important to both clean and disinfect your classroom multiple times a day. It is also important to understand the different items in your classroom and how they can be cleaned and disinfected.
First, you want to assess the items in your classroom and note if they can be cleaned and disinfected easily. Hard and non-porous materials like glass, metal, or plastic are easy to clean and disinfect. These should be staples in your classroom, while soft or porous materials like carpets, pillows, and other soft materials should be removed if possible.
Develop a Plan
After identifying the items in your classroom that are easy to clean and removing the ones that are not, it is time to develop a plan to keep your classroom clean and reduce the spread of germs. Any room or space that is occupied daily needs to be cleaned routinely, especially the frequently touched areas like door handles, chairs, and desks. It is also a good idea to plan to clean your outdoor area too. One suggestion is to find optimal breaks during the day to clean and possibly disinfect throughout the day; for example, during nap time or when the kids go outside to play. Cleaning should happen at least every 3 to 4 hours and the room must be disinfected each night.
Now that a plan is in place, it is important to work on the implementation of the plan and make sure you have all the necessary cleaning products, PPE equipment, and appropriate disinfectants. Before you disinfect make sure to clean the surface to remove any of the dirt and germs from the surface. This will allow the disinfectant agents to be most successful in killing the germs and bacteria. Also, it may be wise to have teachers switch off or bring in additional cleaning staff to help maintain a clean environment. Lastly, always make sure you are reading the label on the products you are using and keep harmful disinfectants out a child’s reach.
Follow the CDC
Finally, it is important to remember that these are suggestions based on what the CDC recommends, and you need to find something that is going to work for you, your classroom, and your staff. It is also important to note that revisions may need to be made, and that is okay! These plans for cleaning and disinfecting should be maintained and revised if something else is learned or there becomes a more efficient way. All these guidelines are in place to help reduce the spread of infectious diseases and put in place to keep you, your staff, and children safe.