Steps for parents and school staff to reduce the chance of a MRSA Infection in Schools
Firstly, always remind and encourage students to clean their hands frequently. The staff needs to be reminded as well. Provide your child with a small container of hand sanitizer in your child’s book bag.
School authorities should periodically have surfaces in the gym and classrooms professionally tested to know the extent of MRSA contamination. Tell students not to share gym clothes, towels, and other personal items. MRSA bacteria can live on fabrics and hard surfaces for up to ninety days and can be easily caught.
Educators, ensure that all shared sports equipment (wrestling mats, baseball gloves, gymnastics equipment, etc) and locker room facilities such as benches are cleaned with detergents. A bleach based solution works best, and must remain on the surfaces for at least three minutes. Quick spraying and wiping is not effective and leaves a false sense of security that the area is clean.
The school should install dispensers of hand-sanitizer inside each classroom, and students should be encouraged to use it.
Don’t use soap bars, they can spread germs. Use pump-type dispensers only.
Educators, make sure that when a student gets a cut or abrasion on the playground or in class, it is cleaned immediately by someone whose hands are also clean! Classrooms should have a first-aid kit or ready access to the help of a school nurse.
School authorities should investigate the anti-microbial coatings available for use on sports equipments and other high-touch surfaces, and washable keyboards for computers.
Athletes, gym teachers, and coaches are at higher risk of exposure to MRSA. In high contact sports, MRSA screening may be advisable.