The Most Bacteria at School Isn’t Where You Might Expect

The Most Bacteria at School Isn’t Where You Might Expect

The area with the most cooties isn’t in the bathroom, or on those muddy carpets…but down the hall.

It’s that fateful time: back-to-school. Some kids have already hit the books and are back at it, while others are waiting to board the bus for the first time, the day after Labor Day.

Can you expect homework during the first week? Maybe. What catches parents more off-guard though, is what some are calling the “back-to-school-plague”.

Don’t get in a frenzy: there isn’t really an untreatable super bug waiting in your kid’s school, ready to attack their sweet, unsuspecting smile. Nothing like it.

We’re simply talking about falling ill with a common cold or something like the stomach flu, which is par-for-the-course for most kids. Experts say elementary kids will catch an average of 8 to 12 colds or cases of the flu each academic year, and those students in high school, about 4 to 6.

Related: How Kids Are Being Exposed to High Pollution Levels at School

Exactly where are they contracting the viruses? While communal areas like the bathroom or a locker room might come to mind as the most likely contagious spaces, they don’t provide the worst of it.

Here’s the truth: in a true case of ‘gross’, the most germ-laden place in a school actually happens to be the drinking fountain.

Experts say janitors disinfect these less often than they do the toilets, and with thirsty mouths on every corner and a moist environment to boot, they can be the perfect host for any cold bug.

How can you combat it? To help your child avoid catching everything that comes around, send them to school with their own bottle of water. Or, remind them to run the water a bit at the fountain before leaning in for a slurp, just to be on the safe side.

Washing your hands while singing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice also does wonders to stave off sick days.  Good luck with their first day and don’t forget the Kleenex.

Photo credits: Wavebreak Media Ltd/Bigstock

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