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Clorox Partners With PTA to Help Parents and Teachers Prepare for Height of Flu Season
Date:1/8/2009

OAKLAND, Calif., Jan. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The flu season will likely hit hardest in just a few weeks, according to reports from the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which means now is the time for parents and teachers to take action to help reduce the spread of germs. The classroom is a key front on the battle against the spread of germs, particularly since twenty percent of the nation is currently attending or working at a school(1).

In fact, a child can touch up to 300 surfaces in 30 minutes making them a top vehicle for spreading viruses, especially influenza or the common flu(2). Because the average child spends between 30 and 40 hours a week at school(3), where germs are passed around at a rapid rate, it is vital for parents to help teachers keep classrooms cleaner and healthier.

Clorox and PTA are working to reduce the nearly 22 million school days lost annually(4) due to illness. Parents are encouraged to get involved by organizing cleaning supply stock-up events as well as disinfecting parties at their child's school. Clorox has also distributed more than 250,000 Classroom Clean Up Curriculum Kits to teachers nationwide and are working directly with moms to host classroom clean-up events in neighborhoods across the country.

Teachers Need Parents' Support

To combat germs in the classroom, more than 56 percent of teachers say they buy their own cleaning supplies in an effort to keep germs at bay during the school year, while at the same time, only 12 percent of parents make cleaning supply donations and merely 4 percent of parents say they pitch in to help disinfect the school(5). Since classrooms can harbor germs that can cause colds and flu, reducing the spread at school is key to help keep classrooms healthier during the school year. Consider the facts:

    >  The average school desk can harbor up to 400 times more bacteria than
       the average toilet seat(6).
    >  Classrooms can have up to seven times more germs than a doctor's
       office(7).
    >  Teachers miss five days of school each year(8) due to illness.
    >  74 percent of teachers have missed school because a child got them
       sick(9).
    >  At the height of cold and flu season, 76 percent of school nurses see
       upwards of 16 students in one day(10) and more than half send five or
       more sick children home each day(11).
    >  94 percent of school nurses surveyed believe classroom cleaning
       protocols for teachers to follow would help combat germs at school(12).

Top Tips for a Successful Flu Season

Parents can take an active role all flu season long. Below are simple tips for parents:

    o  Create a Cleaning Crew: Host parent cleaning events before school
       starts and periodically throughout the year. Have everyone bring a
       different classroom supply -- such as disinfecting wipes, tissues and
       hand sanitizer -- to help keep your school clean year-round.
    o  Help Stock Up: More than 56 percent of teachers buy their own cleaning
       supplies. You can help by donating cleaning supplies, such as
       disinfecting wipes, to help your teacher stock the classroom and keep
       it clean.*
    o  Teach Healthy Habits: Remind kids to share wisely. It's great to share
       items like books, toys and pencils, but not items like combs, brushes,
       hats, toothbrushes, tissues, whistles, cups and forks.
    o  Encourage Nutrition: Breakfast is vital, so never skip. Pack your child
       a healthy lunch including fruits and vegetables and provide a healthy
       after school snack.
    o  Build Immunity: Students need to get plenty of sleep and physical
       activity, drink water, and eat good food to help them stay healthy in
       the winter and all year.
    o  Learn the Elbow Cough: Teach children to cough into their elbow, not
       hands (where it's more likely germs will spread through touch).

*Check with school policy to confirm use [and donation] of product is acceptable

The Clorox Company

The Clorox Company is a leading manufacturer and marketer of consumer products with fiscal year 2007 revenues of $4.8 billion. Clorox markets some of consumers' most trusted and recognized brand names, including its namesake bleach and cleaning products, Armor All(R) and STP(R) auto-care products, Fresh Step(R) and Scoop Away(R) cat litter, Kingsford(R) charcoal, Hidden Valley(R) and K C Masterpiece(R) dressings and sauces, Brita(R) water- filtration systems, and Glad(R) bags, wraps and containers. With 7,800 employees worldwide, the company manufactures products in more than two dozen countries and markets them in more than 100 countries. Clorox is committed to making a positive difference in the communities where its employees work and live. Founded in 1980, The Clorox Company Foundation has awarded cash grants totaling more than $69.7 million to nonprofit organizations, schools and colleges. In fiscal 2007 alone, the foundation awarded $3.4 million in cash grants, and Clorox made product donations valued at $5.9 million. For more information about Clorox, visit http://www.TheCloroxCompany.com

(1) U.S. Dept of Ed, 1999

(2) Research conducted by the University of Arizona, led by Charles Gerba, Ph.D, Fall 2005

(3) Yale University School of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, and California Pacific Medical Center

(4) http://www.cdc.gov/germstopper/home_work_school.htm

(5) June and July 2005 online survey conducted at scholastic.com

(6) Research conducted by the University of Arizona, led by Charles Gerba, Ph.D. Fall 2005

(7) Research conducted by the University of Arizona, led by Charles Gerba, Ph.D. Fall 2005

    (8) June and July 2005 online survey conducted at scholastic.com
    (9) June and July 2005 online survey conducted at scholastic.com
    (10) Clorox study, June 2007
    (11) Clorox study, June 2007
    (12) Clorox study, June 2007

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SOURCE The Clorox Company
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