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Hygiene in nursery schools

Taking lead in improving hygiene in nursery schools

Small children are notoriously prone to infections. Educating both nursery staff and children about good hygiene, and consequently reducing infections, is a worthwhile – and welcome – undertaking.


To find appropriate solutions for nurseries, the Tork team in Sweden initiated a pilot study in two regional nurseries close to Gothenburg. The study was carried out in close collaboration with the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control. The key elements of cooperation are based on mutual respect and a common agenda: reducing the spread of infection.

Insights about children’s hygiene
The insights from the study were plenty: many nurseries use textile towels which easily spread bacteria. Also, it is important that soap dispensers are easy for children to press in order to extract sufficient amount of soap. To facilitate the children’s ability to manage their own hygiene it was also preferred to use toilet paper with ready-made paper sheets to eliminate the need to tear the paper. Additionally, there was a need for adjusting the mounting heights and the placing of dispensers in order to better suit the children.

Based on the findings and the Institute’s experiences, a nursery brochure with hands-on tips for good hand hygiene and hygiene routines was created for nursery teachers. It also focuses on how to teach these methods to children. The Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control has a natural authority to influence nurseries as they visit them in person to perform hygiene training, using the Tork brochure as basis.

Reducing infections and providing guidelines
The initiative has been very well received as it provides solutions to reduce infections for nursery staff as well as the children and their families. For example, included guidelines for mounting heights have provided janitors with substantial value, which have been greatly appreciated.

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