Why hand hygiene is (still) essential in keeping schools safe

In this blog, we explain why hand hygiene is vital in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses in schools. We discuss both hand washing and drying.

Published: January 27, 2022

Unfortunately, UK schools are having to deal with an ongoing spike in cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. However, it seems unlikely that schools will face any further restrictions or closures. That’s why it’s vital that everyone in the education sector keeps as safe as possible. 

Today, we’re highlighting why hand hygiene remains an important aspect of maintaining health and safety in schools.

The easiest defence for schools

Throughout the pandemic, schools have found that encouraging proper hand washing is a great strategy for students of all ages. 

A study from University College London revealed that regular hand washing (six to ten times each day) results in a lower risk of coronavirus infection. Clearly, hand hygiene is a major aspect of reducing COVID transmission through touch – it’s also an easy option when compared to enforcing mask-wearing or social distancing! As long as schools regularly encourage proper and thorough hand hygiene, they can minimise coronavirus transmission through surfaces and objects. 

Preventing illnesses besides COVID-19

In addition to widespread concern about the Omicron variant, it’s important to consider the other illnesses which can spread in schools. Many parents have learnt the hard way that all sorts of bugs can be passed around in the classroom. This includes colds and flu, as well as rather nasty illnesses such as norovirus. Understandably, preventing COVID infections is a priority for schools – so it’s a bonus that robust hand hygiene can prevent the spread of other viruses, too. It’s also very important during the winter months, as clean hands mean fewer absences during flu season. 

Washing AND drying

For almost two years, it’s been impossible to ignore the sensible advice of the NHS and Government to wash your hands thoroughly. We’ve all heard that proper handwashing should take at least 20 seconds – or, as you may recall, singing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice!

Even if students remember how to wash their hands properly, that’s only half the battle, as hand drying is equally important. Regardless of how thoroughly pupils may wash their hands, their efforts are wasted if their hands stay damp. Shockingly, damp hands can spread up to a thousand times more bacteria than dry ones! 

To ensure totally-hygienic hands, school washrooms should include proper hand drying facilities. This is where we can help by providing effective and efficient Dyson Airblade dryers! They’re as effective as drying with paper towels, just without the environmental impact. Of course, in terms of hygiene, they’re second to none. Thanks to their medical-grade HEPA filters, they capture 99.95% of bacteria and virus particles. This means students can leave school washrooms with totally sanitary hands.


We hope this blog has reminded you of the value of hand hygiene in schools. To learn more about leasing Dyson Airblades in a flexible and affordable way, contact our helpful team of rental experts today!


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