At Bimuno®, we care about your child's health and well-being. That's why we conducted a recent test in collaboration with Melbec Microbiology to uncover the hidden world of bacteria on school uniforms. The results may shock you - the levels of bacteria found on these uniforms are surprisingly higher than some of the most contaminated surfaces we encounter daily.
- School uniform has over 12,000% more bacteria than toilet seat
- School dresses have over 1,700% more bacteria than a public toilet hand dryer
- School cardigans have over 1,000% more bacteria than the sole of a shoe
- School socks have 408,000% more bacteria than an iPhone.
The test aimed to uncover the extent of bacterial exposure children face within school settings and highlight the significance of supporting their immune systems. Recent data indicates a 348% surge in Google searches for bacterial infections such as 'Strep A' over the past year, highlighting parental concerns regarding the transmission of bacteria in schools.
School Uniforms Carry More Bacteria Than Toilet Seats
The research revealed that the cumulative colony-forming units (CFUs) per uniform worn by a child in full-time nursery amounted to 11,774,416, while the uniform worn by a child in year 2 at school harboured 29,283,677 CFUs - 12,353% more than the average toilet seat.
School Socks Carry More Bacteria Than A Dog Bowl
The number of CFUs detected on school socks was a startling 57,000, which exceeded the count found in a dog bowl by over 20%.
Items Of School Uniform Carry More Bacteria Than Public Toilets
The study found that school dresses contained 1,700% more bacteria than a public toilet hand dryer and school cardigans contained 900% more bacteria than a public toilet door handle. Another comparison revealed that school cardigans carry over 1,000% more bacteria than the sole of a shoe.
While the numbers are alarming - Not all bacteria are bad bacteria!
In the intricate world of microorganisms, there are both friends and foes. Probiotics, the friendly bacteria, are the unsung heroes, diligently working behind the scenes to ensure our well-being. They play a pivotal role in maintaining a balanced microbiome, where they compete against potential harmful bacteria for space and resources in an attempt to keep us healthy. Supporting these good bacteria through a diverse, fibre-rich diet, fermented foods, and prebiotic fibre supplements can create a harmonious environment within our bodies, promoting happiness and overall health. So, remember, in the bacterial world, not all are adversaries, some are essential allies. You can learn more in our blog:
How To Support Your Child’s Immunity
The gut microbiome, a community of trillions of bacteria that live in the gut, plays a vital role in overall health and well-being, including immunity. In fact, 70% of your immune system is located in your digestive system, so supporting it with a balanced lifestyle and looking after your good gut bacteria is of great importance.You can learn more about your child’s gut health and it’s link with immunity in our blog here
Taking care of your children's gut health is a great way to support their immunity. Here are our top tips:
- Feed them a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These foods are packed with nutrients that support a healthy gut microbiome. You can learn more in our “Eat the rainbow” guide for children.
- Encourage them to eat fermented foods, particularly those that contain probiotics (beneficial bacteria that when ingested in adequate amounts confer a health benefit), such as bio-live yogurt, sourdough, and kimchi.
- Limit their intake of processed foods and sugary drinks. These things can disrupt the gut microbiome and potentially impact the immune system.
- Consider giving them prebiotics for kids. Prebiotics are non-digestible fibres that feed the good bacteria in the gut.
Róisín Pichon, Bimuno’s in-house Nutritionist and gut health expert said: "The findings of this study are concerning, but not surprising. School uniforms are often worn for multiple days without being washed, and they can be exposed to a variety of environments, including playgrounds, school buses, and crowded classrooms. This creates a breeding ground for bacteria."
"Parents can help protect their children from the bacteria on their school uniforms by washing them regularly and teaching their children to wash their hands frequently. They can also support their children's immunity by feeding them a healthy diet and giving them a prebiotic supplement, such as Bimuno® Kids Immunity." Bimuno® Kids Immunity is a 4-in-1 prebiotic and vitamin blend containing Vitamin C, D3, Zinc, and our award-winning prebiotic. It has been created for small, sensitive, stomachs because a healthy gut means a happy child. It can be easily mixed into food or drinks, making it a convenient way to give your child essential vitamins and prebiotic fibre, supporting a healthy immune system and overall well-being.
- Eight Items of school uniform were supplied to Melbec Microbiology
- The condition of the items was checked, and each item was weighed, and the weight was recorded.
- Three 2 cm2 pieces were aseptically cut from each item and weighed, and the weight was recorded.
- Each piece of uniform was immersed in 10 ml of maximal recovery diluent (MRD) and then stomached for 30 seconds to extract the microbial bioburden.
- Once extracted into the MRD the diluent was serially diluted and plated onto the relevant media.
- The plates were then incubated for the prescribed temperature and duration.
- After incubation, the plates were examined for microbial growth and then the colonies were counted.
- The numbers of bacteria and fungi were calculated per cm2 of each item, for each item and each uniform set.