Thursday 21 September 2017

School toys are hot spots for germs

Testing for germ 'hot spots' at schools revealed high levels of bacteria in unexpected places. Stock photo: PA
Testing for germ 'hot spots' at schools revealed high levels of bacteria in unexpected places. Stock photo: PA

John von Radowitz

School play equipment poses a potential infection hazard for young children, a study suggests.

Testing for germ "hot spots" at schools revealed high levels of bacteria in unexpected places.

Play equipment had more bugs on its surfaces than did door handles, radiators, stationary items and chairs.

At one school, a "play" dinosaur registered a contamination reading 41 times higher than from a toilet door. Experts from pest controllers Rentokil swabbed 130 locations at an infant and primary school in the south of England and tested the samples using a hi-tech microbe detector.

From the results, they produced contamination "heat maps" showing the dirtiest areas where cleansing was most needed to prevent outbreaks of infection.

Luke Rutterford, of Rentokil Specialist Hygiene, said: "These findings may surprise many, as it is not necessarily objects and areas they would associate with being unhygienic, such as toilets, but instead items that are shared by multiple children which appear to be harbouring the most germs.

"Play equipment and shared items such as pens and pencils are used regularly throughout the day but rarely cleaned."

Irish Independent

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