JPS FACT SHEET: HAND HYGIENE
Students and staff must practice hand hygiene to reduce the spread of COVID-19. School buildings will plan time in the school day schedule to allow for hand hygiene.
Traditional handwashing with soap and warm water, lathering for a minimum of 20 seconds, is the preferred method of hand hygiene. In instances where this is not feasible or facilities are unavailable, supervised use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers with parent notification is recommended. Educational information will be posted on the website to educate parents and children about the benefits of good hand hygiene in decreasing the spread of infection, the preferred method of adequate handwashing with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, and the risks, benefits, and appropriate use of hand sanitizers when soap and water are not available or feasible.
The Director of Buildings and Grounds/Facilities will be consulted for information on product information, safety guidance, and placement. This information will be reviewed and approved by the school administration.
Product Storage and Handling
Pump bottles of hand sanitizer will not be provided for individual or classroom use, but rather no touch dispensers will be in all common areas and corridors. Hand sanitizers contain alcohol and are flammable. Sanitizer may not be stored near sources of heat (i.e., heater vents) or ignition sources (e.g., stoves or science lab Bunsen Burners). If wall-mounted dispensers are used, the Director of Buildings and Grounds will advise as to placement following the manufacturer's directions and building fire codes.
Recommendations for spillage and disposal will be available to staff. Custodial staff will be involved in any large spill clean-ups. Unless otherwise noted, this may involve absorbing into inert material and disposal per waste disposal regulations for characteristic hazardous waste-flammable liquid, water clean-up, and rinse.
Material Data Sheet for Product
The Director of Buildings and Grounds will maintain a copy of the "Material Data Sheet" per district hazardous materials requirements in alignment in alignment with OSHA or PESH. The school nurse will keep additional copies on file in the Health Offices. If an on-line MSDS system is used, website and or phone contact information will be provided following the District's Hazard Communications Policy and Procedures.
The district will post a letter to parents regarding the importance of good hand hygiene and the use of hand sanitizer products. This letter will include the specific health hazards listed for the product, such as:
- Eye Contact: May cause eye irritation.
- Skin Contact: No irritation or reaction expected.
- Inhalation: Not applicable.
- Ingestion: May cause upset stomach, nausea (Abnormal entry route).
- Carcinogenicity: Not listed as a carcinogen by NTP, IARC, OSHA, or ACGIH.
Notification will be available to parents advising them to review the following information with their child:
- A small dime-sized dollop of hand sanitizer is all that is needed
- Rub over their hands until the gel is dry
- Refrain from touching their faces, eyes, nose, or mouth while their hands are wet.
If the parent does not wish to allow a child to use hand sanitizer products other than soap and water, the parent will educate their child and notify the school nurse. The school nurse will maintain a list of students opting out of hand sanitizer use and distribute the names of those students to appropriate classroom teachers. Students not using hand sanitizer will wash hands with soap and water, if available and feasible, when other students are using hand sanitizer.
Product Distribution and Use
Teachers/Staff may assist with dispensing sanitizer products onto students' hands. If hands are visibly soiled, the student should wash with soap and water, if available, rather than a hand sanitizer.
Students with open cuts on the hands will wash with soap and water instead of using the hand sanitizer, which may cause stinging/discomfort. The teacher will refer children with any complaints of hand or eye irritation or other apparent sensitivity to the school nurse, who then will monitor students for adverse reactions (swelling, redness, or rash). The school nurse will provide instructions to the student, parent, and teacher to discontinue product use on any indication of adverse reaction.
Hand sanitizer will be provided throughout common areas such as entrances and near high touch surfaces. Touch free dispensers should be used.
Signage should be placed near hand sanitizers indicating visibly soiled hands should be washed with soap and water.
Appropriate Times for Use
The following is a partial list of appropriate times to use hand hygiene:
- Immediately upon entering the building and/or classroom
- After sneezing/coughing in the classroom
- Before and after using computer keyboards and mice
- After blowing the nose/touching inside the nostrils or mouth
- Before or after eating
- After touching a person who is ill
- Before/after touching wounds or cuts
- After touching animals
- After sharing objects or surfaces (electronic devices, musical instruments, writing utensils, tools, toys, desks, or table tops
- Before and after using the bathroom or assisting a student with toileting
Procedure for Use
Students will be instructed as follows:
- The teacher or student will provide a "dime" sized amount into the palm.
- The student will rub hands together in a normal washing motion, covering all surfaces of the hands, especially the fingertips/nails, until they are completely dry.
- The teacher will remind students to keep their hands away from the face (eyes, nose, and mouth)
Note: Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is not effective in eliminating food allergen residue. Handwashing with soap and warm water is required.
The CDC has guidance on when and how to wash your hands, provides information on when hand washing should occur, and how to use hand sanitizers. Schools should provide the following:
- Adequate facilities and supplies for handwashing including soap and water
- Paper towels or touch free paper towel dispensers where feasible. Hand dryers are not recommended as they can aerosolize germs.
- No touch/foot pedal trash cans
- Alcohol based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol or disinfectant wipes
- Time in the schedule to allow for frequent hand washing
- Promotion of hand hygiene before meals, after recess or physical education, before and after removing PPE
First Aid Recommendations
The school nurse will post emergency and first aid procedures in the school Health Office and provide a copy to the staff upon request. The teacher will contact the school nurse for first aid emergencies, including:
- Eye Contact: Do not rub eyes. Flush eyes thoroughly with water for 15 minutes. If condition worsens or irritation persists, contact physician.
- Skin Contact: Not applicable.
- Inhalation: Not applicable.
- Ingestion: Do not induce vomiting. Contact a physician or Poison Control Center.