School has begun and winter is right around the corner and for the next nine months our beloved children will bring every virus, germ, bacteria and flu bug into our homes. Children happen to be our most precious resource on earth, but let’s face it, they are also the most germy. They congregate in a petri dish called school. Every day sick kids go to school and give every other child in the school the opportunity to share in the experience. Wouldn’t it be great to kill all those germs in that petri dish before they have attached to our children and come home? Sound like science fiction? ProDryers says maybe not.
The average child in America has a cold 6 to 10 times a year and colds are the cause of most visits to a doctor for school age children. Worst of all, there is no cure for the common cold. It is spread through droplets of coughs and sneezes that lay on the table, pencil or light switch that our children touch every day. Once touched, that tiny droplet full of germs enters the body by touching eyes, nose or mouth. With people touching their faces an average of 5500 times a day, the odds of catching a cold are astronomical.
More than two-thirds (32 million) of school-aged children (aged 5–17 years) in the United States missed school in 2011 due to illness or injury. There were 52.2 million cases of the common cold which resulted in nearly 22 million lost school days. “Children gathering in schools is one of the main ways germs circulate in communities,” says Athena P. Kourtis, MD, PhD, MPH, a pediatrician and author of Keeping Your Child Healthy in a Germ-Filled World.(1)
Germs are found everywhere in school. Some germs can live up to two hours on tables or door knobs. A 2005 study of germs in schools found school water fountain spigots and plastic cafeteria trays had the most germs than any other area in school. The spigot had 2,700,000 bacteria and the cafeteria tray 33,800 bacteria per square inch. Yet, there were only 3,200 bacteria per square inch on the restroom toilet seat. The theory is toilet seats get cleaned regularly, while trays and water fountains do not.
Following some simple rules will help reduce the spread of germs in schools. Frequent hand washing is a must. The proper way to wash hands is to use soap, rubbing up to the wrist, between the fingers and under the nails preferably using a nail brush for at least 20 seconds. That is roughly the time it takes to hum the happy birthday song two times. Hands should be washed before eating, after using the restroom, blowing noses or playing outside. There was a study in Detroit schools which showed that scheduled hand washing, at least four times a day, can reduce gastrointestinal illness by more than 50%.
Pathogens like E.Coli (Escherichia coli), C. diff (clostridium difficile), Staph (Staphylococcus aureus bacteria), MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), and TB (Tuberculosis) are all prevelent in schools. These pathogens can cause mild to extreme illness. Some kinds of E. coli can cause diarrhea, while others cause urinary tract infections, respiratory illness, or pneumonia to name a few. C. diff is one of the most common cause of infectious diarrhea in the US and can range from mild to life-threatening.
Lethal staph infections used to occur in people who were hospitalized or had a chronic illness or weakened immune system. Now healthy people are developing life-threatening staph infections and many staph infections (MRSA) no longer respond to common antibiotics. Healthy people can get these infections by skin-to-skin contact such as high school wrestlers or small children holding hands or hugging. According to the CDC, approximately 80% of infectious diseases are transmitted by touch. They estimate up to 49,000 people die from the flu or flu-like illness each year. They recommend the best protection from this type of illness is frequent hand washing. (2)
TB is a disease caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal.
Children’s immune systems are less mature than those of adults, so they are more susceptible to germs. They also are in close contact with each other and younger children have germy habits, such as sticking fingers and objects in their mouths. These pathogens are in our schools and come home with our children.
American Dryer has developed the new eXtremeAir cPc (Cold Plasma Clean) hand dryer which will change the way we think about germs. This revolutionary hand dryer actually kills germs. Just think of how well this hand dryer will work in our schools, especially the lower grades. We can teach children over and over how to wash hands, but will the kids actually do it correctly? The eXtremeAir cPc will make it a moot point. Wetting the hands and putting them under the dryer will kill the germs on the hands and the immediate surrounding air. Pathogens like E.Coli, C. diff, Staph, MRSA, and TB all die when put under the eXtremeAir cPc hand dryer.
American Dryer has been making hand dryers for over 55 years and has an excellent reputation for the best in hand dryers. The eXtremeAir cPc is just an extension of the already popular eXtremeAir. It has many features like fast dry time, smaller size, smart multi voltage capability and an adjustable motor. It is now the only dryer to kill germs.
If every child washed their hands and used the eXtremeAir cPc to dry them, germs would be kept to a minimum in schools and our homes. Just putting hands under the dryer will kill germs and odors without actually washing them! They would not be visually clean, but they would be germ free. That is a major step in the right direction.
Anthony Dicicco, CEO of ProDryers, says “As a father of grade school kids, I’d like to see the eXtremeAir cPc in the school my kids go to. We didn’t have many colds in our house until my oldest started school. Now, after the cold goes through the entire family and we’re finally over it, a new one comes along.”