by  , Youth Reporter from South Shore School of Leadership

Editor’s Note: The following article was written by a youth reporter who is a graduate of the Urban Youth International Journalism Program.

Being in high school is a tough situation. Why? We have germs!

While in school students are exposed to many different types of germs, from people coughing and sneezing to hacking and wheezing, then not covering their mouths or even washing their hands afterwards.

Various diseases such as the flu and the common cold can be anywhere, on anything. It’s unsafe, and what is a student to do?

One of the best ways to keep from getting sick is washing your hands.

In school many students and teachers shake hands, and one never knows if they washed their hands that day.

“Just today a student tried to shake my hand, and I had just washed it, so I didn’t,” Mr. Harken said. “No offense to him, but my hands were clean, and who knows where he’d been.”

“Another problem is kids coming to school who are sick,” said senior Delisa Ellis. “They should stay home. I got sent home for seven days last year, but I understood why.”

This past year has seen a large increase in the use of hand sanitizer and actual hand sanitizer dispensers in schools.

The H1N1 scare increased people’s awareness of germs and the need for cleanliness.

Hand sanitizers are a good way to kill germs when washing hands isn’t an option.

Carrying hand sanitizer is the best thing to do when on the go. Traveling by bus or by train is germ central.

It seems like people wait until they are in a crowded area to cough and sneeze all over the place, rarely covering their mouths.

The proper way to use hand sanitizer is to cover both sides of the hand, the fingers, and between the fingers.

Only sanitizing one part of the hand won’t do the trick.

“I was at a Walgreen’s one day, and they ran out of hand sanitizer. I was waiting in line, and I overheard someone ask the pharmacist for hand sanitizer, and he said that they were all out, citywide,” Mr. Harken said.

“I bought one bottle for my class, but the students used it like hand lotion, and I was out in two weeks. Now I have a secret hidden stash, for me. They can buy their own hand sanitizer.”

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