School hygiene

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Washing hands is very important to avoid many infectious diseases present in school conditions.

School hygiene or school hygiene education is a healthcare science, a form of the wider school health education. School hygiene is a study of school environment influence; it explores the impact of schooling to mental and physical health of students.[1]

The primary aims of school hygiene education is to improve behavior through useful practices connected to personal, water, food, domestic and public hygiene.[2] Also, it aims to protect water and food supplies and to safely manage environmental factors.

History of school hygiene[edit]

School hygiene expert Fletcher B. Dresslar explained in his 1915 work School Hygiene that “School Hygiene is the branch of this science [hygiene] which has to do with the conservation and development of the health of school children.”[3] The school was looked upon as existing “not only for the welfare of each child in attendance, but also for the welfare of the state and the nation.”[4] Dresslar broke school hygiene up into two essential parts: “the physical environment of the child during his school life” and “the laws of mental hygiene as illustrated by the proper adjustment of the subjects of the curriculum to the mental powers and needs of the children.”[5][6]

School hygiene as a major discipline was at its zenith in the United States and England in the late 19th and early 20th century, with major works of the subject being offered by various authors, among them Sir Arthur Newsholme,[7] Edward R. Shaw,[8] Robert A. Lyster,[9] and G.G. Groff.[10] After this time period, the school hygiene discipline became part of a comprehensive look at school health education; the American School Hygiene Association became inactive, and the American School Health Association was founded. Exclusive focus on hygiene was no longer prominent.[11]

School hygiene still appears to be an active, separate discipline in other parts of the world, like Eastern Europe[12][13] and developing countries where school sanitation norms are not as well established.[2]

School environment[edit]

Secondary school main building in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, England.

Schools can determine children's health and well-being by their exposure to a healthy or unhealthy school environment.[14] There are lot of architectural and aesthetic aspects related to a school's hygienic needs, such as: school's building plan, safe water supply, disposition of waste, emergency lighting, heating and ventilation, as well as adequate school facilities (halls, classrooms, and common areas) and furniture.

School location[edit]

Due to health reasons (influence of noise, exhaust gases from vehicles, and potential risk of accident), schools in an urban and suburban areas should be located more than 100 meters away from major traffic and causeways.[12] Some studies suggest it is best to orient and design a school building so that natural light can be a part of the lighting scheme of the school, and that buildings should avoid being placed in a valley, due to air quality issues.[12]

Importance of school hygiene[edit]

Schools have a central place in the health of a community. Inappropriate hygiene in schools can cause many diseases. If there are no school sanitation and hygiene facilities, or if they aren't maintained and used adequately, schools become places where diseases are likely transmitted.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Meckel, Richard (2013). Classrooms and Clinics: Urban Schools and the Protection and Promotion of Child Health, 1879-1930. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. ISBN 978-0-8135-6239-1.
  2. ^ a b c "A Manual on School Sanitation and Hygiene" (PDF). UNICEF/Programme Division. September 1998. pp. 3–4. Retrieved 17 September 2011.
  3. ^ Dresslar, Fletcher B. (1913). School hygiene. New York: The MacMillan Company. p. 1.
  4. ^ Dresslar, Fletcher B. (1913). School hygiene. New York: The MacMillan Company. p. 2.
  5. ^ Dresslar, Fletcher B. (1913). School hygiene. New York: The MacMillan Company. p. 3.
  6. ^ Meckel, Richard (2013). Classrooms and Clinics: Urban Schools and the Protection and Promotion of Child Health, 1870-1930. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. ISBN 978-0-8135-6239-1.
  7. ^ Newsholme, Arthur (1898). School hygiene: the laws of health in relation to school life. London: Swan Sonnenschein and Co.
  8. ^ Shaw, Edward R. (1902). School hygiene. New York: The MacMillan Company.
  9. ^ Lyster, Robert A. (1907). School hygiene. Baltimore, MD: Warwick and York.
  10. ^ Groff, G.G. (1889). School hygiene. New York: E.L. Kellogg and Co.
  11. ^ Engs, Ruth C. (2003). The progressive era's health reform movement: a historical dictionary. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers. pp. 20–22.
  12. ^ a b c Nikolić, Mihajlo; Radojka Kocijančić; Marija Pecelj-Gec; Vida Parezanović (1994). "7". In Jovanović Mirjana. Higijena sa zdravstvenim vaspitanjem. 1 (fourth ed.). Zavod za udžbenike i nastavna sredstva. pp. 69–72. ISBN 86-17-02931-5.
  13. ^ Zaba, R.; Bukartyk-Rusek, B. (2002). "School hygiene in the past, present and future--in the opinion of the Inspector of Pediatrics and School Medicine and member of the European Society for Social Pediatrics (ESSOP)". Wiad Lek. NIH. 55: 615–619. PMID 15002312.
  14. ^ "Water, Sanitation and Hygiene". UNICEF Unite for children. 19 July 2010. Retrieved 17 September 2011.

Further reading[edit]

  • Clarke, Lucy; Maiga, Fatoumata Sokona and Simpson-Hebert, Mayling. (1995). Hygiene education and environmental sanitation in schools in Francophone West Africa : the report of an intercountry workshop to identify problems and options for improvement, EIER, Ouagadougou 19–21 April 1994. Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization. (WHO/EOS/94.56).
  • Stojčić, Milena; Milanović, Snežana and Mršulja, Ana. (2009). Radna sveska za higijenu sa zdravstvenim vaspitanjem (Zavod za udžbenike i nastavna sredstva) ISBN 978-86-17-16350-9
  • Nikolić, Mihajlo (fourth edition). Higijena sa zdravstvenim vaspitanjem (Zavod za udžbenike i nastavna sredstva, 1994) ISBN 86-17-02931-5
  • Savičević, Momir. Higijena (Medicinska knjiga, Beograd–Zagreb 1986/87)

External links[edit]