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Drew: Teachers Safety Matters

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By Samuetta Hill Drew


Public and private schools operate typically for nine months, beginning somewhere between dates in August and September. Teachers then begin interacting with hundreds of people on a daily basis which include co-workers, students, parents and stakeholders. With this interaction comes exposure to several different types of germs and bacteria.

So how do teachers remain safe from various diseases that may enter their environment? This article will address some safety measures teachers can use to help safeguard their health during their nine months.

Washing, not rinsing, one’s hands frequently and thoroughly is a great place to start safeguarding one’s health. A good thorough washing with warm water and soap between your fingers, both back and front, for a period long enough to sing two stanzas of Happy Birthday is like a Do-It-Yourself vaccine, states the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It helps to prevent the spreading of infectious respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses.

Proper hand hygiene is illness prevention 101, says infectious disease expert Dr. Adalja M.D. senior scholar with John Hopkins. Note, having a bottle of hand sanitizer at your desk is also helpful temporarily, but it does not replace washing your hands.

Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water is another safeguard. Some describe water as the transmission fluid of your immune system. Dehydration can mask itself as exhaustion, hunger and anxiety. Many teachers opt to purchase containers with cute sayings or pictures for their desks. These cute containers help to keep their water cool all day.

Eating a proper balanced diet also helps prevent illnesses. A proper diet provides the necessary vitamins and minerals essential for a healthy body. Another method to help fight germs is wiping desks and other classroom surfaces with antibacterial wipes.

Teachers of young children can start a “germ squad” and rotate all students throughout the year to help wipe these classroom surfaces. Naturally, getting plenty of sleep and exercising are also great ways to safeguard one’s health. Also addressing any signs or symptoms early is another safeguard a teacher should use instead of waiting until the symptoms worsen. Teachers often address others health issues while neglecting their own.

It’s important for teachers to Keep an Eye on Safety throughout the year so those sick days can accumulate and possibly be used for an earlier retirement.  No, seriously, maintaining one’s health when surrounded by a sea of germs is important, so taking flu shots and/or other doctor recommended vaccines is also helpful in safeguarding one’s health!