Why Comfortable Classrooms Lead to A Better Learning Environment
It’s easy to accept the idea that children who attend clean, well-maintained schools have an easier time succeeding than those who don’t. But do the environments teachers create in their classrooms have an impact on their students’ ability to learn?
The research says they can. According to Dr. Sheryl Reinisch, director of Early Childhood Education Programs at Concordia University-Portland, studies indicate that high-quality classroom environments “help children feel safe, secure, and valued. As a result, self-esteem increases andstudents are motivated to engage in the learning process.”
To best appreciate how a cleaning and hygiene program can reduce the transmission of the common cold and flu, it is important to first briefly explore how influenza is spread. Influenza and colds are primarily spread through large droplets that are produced when infected people cough, sneeze or talk, sending the relatively large infectious droplets and very small sprays (aerosols) into the nearby air and into contact with other people. Large droplets can only travel a limited range; therefore, people should limit close contact (within 6 feet) with others when possible.
In addition, the cold and flu are also spread by infected individuals touching objects such as doorknobs, elevator buttons, hand rails and other frequently touched surfaces thus contaminating the object with viruses. The viruses are then transmitted to another person who touches the same object and then transfers the infected material from the hands to the nose, mouth or eyes. That is why it is important to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. Effective cleaning and disinfecting of environmental surfaces including “high touch” or frequently touched surfaces (i.e., desks, countertops, faucet handles, doorknobs) significantly decreases the number of environmental pathogens including influenza and cold viruses on those surfaces or objects, which in turn reduces the risk of transmission and infection. Routine cleaning removes the soil and dirt that harbors the infectious agents, while disinfecting kills the remaining environmental pathogens.
Mosquitoes cause more human suffering than any other organism — over one million people worldwide die from mosquito-borne diseases every year. Not only can mosquitoes carry diseases that afflict humans, they also transmit several diseases and parasites that dogs and horses are very susceptible to. These include dog heartworm, West Nile virus (WNV) and Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE). In addition, mosquito bites can cause severe skin irritation through an allergic reaction to the mosquito’s saliva – this is what causes the red bump and itching. Mosquito vectored diseases include protozoan diseases, i.e., malaria, filarial diseases such as dog heartworm, and viruses such as dengue, encephalitis and yellow fever. CDC Travelers’ Health provides information on travel to destinations where human-borne diseases might be a problem.
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