One in Five Parents Believes Children Lack Proper Hygiene Products in School

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One-third of parents with school age children are sending personal hygiene products along with their kids to school, and 1 in 5 parents believe their childrens school lacks proper hygiene and sanitation supplies.


Those are the results of the latest National Cleaning Survey released by The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA).


Parents and caregivers are taking a more proactive role in helping their children stay healthy by sending along products like sanitizers, gels and wipes in their kids backpacks, said Nancy Bock, SDAs vice president of education. Todays new, waterless products make it easy and convenient for students to have clean hands at school, anywhere, anytime.


Seventy percent of parents do believe that classrooms are a primary channel through which their children learn about proper hygiene, SDAs survey shows. Furthermore, 70 percent of parents also say that they themselves were influenced by educators when they were children.



In order to provide educators with better hygiene education tools, the SDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have created a program for middle schools across the country to make hand hygiene a priority for students, teachers, school health personnel, administrators, and parents.


The program, now in its third year, is called Healthy Schools, Healthy People, Its a SNAP! SNAP the School Network for Absenteeism Prevention is a hands-on initiative for middle schools that is designed to help keep students in school and learning by improving overall health through promoting clean hands.


According to the CDC, handwashing is the single most important thing people can do to keep from getting sick and spreading illness. Why?


· Nearly 22 million school days are lost annually due to the common cold.

· 52.2 million cases of the common cold affect Americans under age 17 each year. (CDC. Fast stats A to Z: Common cold. 1996)


A SNAP toolkit available at includes handwashing facts and tips on integrating hand hygiene into the curriculum across disciplines from science to art.


Each year, middle school SNAP participants are eligible to be considered for the National Recognition Program. The Top Classroom award includes an all-expense paid trip for three to Washington, D.C. and recognition at a special reception.


In 2003, students from Goodrich Middle School in Lincoln, Neb., were honored for their comprehensive handwashing campaign including a DVD movie on proper handwashing techniques, a computer slide presentation, T-shirts, bookmarks, and multilingual posters on good hand hygiene. The Goodrich campaign was then promoted school-wide and complemented by school nurse demonstrations and awards for students with low absenteeism.


In 2004, Crownover Middle School in Denton, Texas, received the Top Classroom Award. Several different departments joined together to implement their hand hygiene program. Science and math students took cultures and recorded data. Arts and skills-for-living students made posters in English and Spanish. Theater, technology, and language arts students collaborated on a hand hygiene video to premiere at a PTA meeting


The SNAP program is available to middle schools throughout the school year; the deadline for the National Recognition Program is March 1, 2005. For information on how to participate in the 2005 SNAP program, contact


The survey questions were asked of 557 parents of children under the age of 15 in the U.S. The independent consumer research study was completed in April 2004 on behalf of the Soap and Detergent Association by International Communications Research (ICR). The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.15 percent.


Source: The Soap and Detergent Association