Hygiene in High Schoolers

Avatar for judy_joey
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Hygiene in High Schoolers
Tue, 12-15-2009 - 1:33pm

So many of our students have colds right now. I'm going through a box of tissues everyday! My problem is that I'm seeing so many of the kids wipe their runny noses on the back of their hands and then running it right on up their sleeves....yuck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-13-2008
Tue, 12-15-2009 - 4:57pm
Every year, at least once, there's some hygiene issue. I just make a general "good hygiene" speech for every class without singling out one person. You might remind them that you keep tissue at X location in your room for their use.



iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2008
Tue, 12-15-2009 - 5:42pm

Oddly, I haven't had that issue with my students this year. I think we instilled in them the importance of hygiene early in the year when we had a third of our students out with illness. I have one particular student during my 4th hour class who has appointed himself the class health monitor and will dispense hand sanitizer to all students before we begin our lessons.

I think it pays off to give them a gentle reminder that the winter-time is the time for most illnesses and that proper hand-washing, use of tissues and general prevention will keep the spread of illness down to a minimum.

  "Aut dosce, aut disce, aut discede"
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-04-2003
Wed, 12-16-2009 - 8:50am

This makes me angry because manners should be taught at home. Okay, first approach, hand out two tissues per student a day. Also, take collections for donations to buy more tissue and sanitizer. Next approach as someone mentioned have the hygiene talk and discuss with them the importance of good health and good manners. After you have done all that and it doesn't improve, send a message home about it in your newsletter to remind parents.

If none of that works, well some of you aren't going to like this, but embarrassment may be the next step and not cruel, but when you see them wipe their nose on their hand and then try to turn in a paper, say, "sorry, not touching that, you wiped your nose on it" Or better yet, for effect, start wearing rubber gloves around them and when they ask why, tell them, "I've witnessed too many bad habits and I'm trying hard not to get sick."

And what's wrong with straight up telling them, "What you are doing is unsanitary and frankly will keep you sick and get the rest of us sick. You are old enough to do better so do it and then hand them some tissue and sanitizer."

We have lost discretion in our society and now we're all so afraid to speak up for common sense things. Or just for effect, wipe your nose on your hand and reach out to touch one of them and see how they react and then explain, "you do this to me all the time, so what's the problem"

There is no quick fix to this cause in many ways, they are still kids in their minds and kids do silly things, but if you are almost an adult and you can't be bothered to keep yourself clean, there is a big problem. Time to grow up a little.

These are just suggestions. I'm sure you'll find a way to handle it. In the mean time, disinfect those desks at least once a day and keep your desk wiped down and wash your own hands at least 3 times a day, if you can get to the bathroom. Oh and frankly the gloves aren't a bad idea either. Whether you have the time or not, I'm sure you don't want to miss too many days of work because of the bad hygiene habits of your students. Take care.


Avatar for guili12737
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-23-1997
Wed, 12-16-2009 - 4:09pm
I work in a MS and I have no trouble speaking to kids about sneezing, nose running etc. Maybe it's the mom in me but, I offer tissues which I have on my desk and tell them to sneeze into the crook of their arm all the time.
I keep hand sanitizer at the desk and wipe it down all the time.
I'm in a library so I cringe when i see an obviously sick kid hand back a book. Yesterday I lent a pencil to a kid and he handed it back to me chewed! An 8th grader! Can you believe it! I picked it up by the eraser and threw it in the trash. yuk
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Wed, 12-16-2009 - 6:11pm

I've been reading the other responses and I think they are all helpful. I've taught K-12 and higher ed. With all groups I just tell them what I think. Rules and expectations