Sick Classroom Syndrome

Desiring for a pleasant and inspiring place to learn, some teachers paint their classrooms and provide newly polished facilities and furnishings to make their rooms conducive to learning. This comes from the idea that children who attend clean, well-maintained schools have an easier time succeeding than those who don’t. But do the environment we create in our presentable classrooms safe to our health?
Most of our classrooms contain a lot of potential air pollutants. These active elements contaminate indoor air unnoticed. Since pupils and teachers spend very much time inside the room, they are exposed to the hazardous health environment.
Chemicals like synthetic substances, paint, chalk dust, ink, glue, plastic cement, pesticides and other complex elements are undetected agents that pollute a classroom’s air. Cigarette and tobacco smoke is another kind of the worst pollutants. Smoke circulates around the room and is inhaled by everyone.
When inside the classroom, pupils and teachers may feel unwell for no apparent reason then improve over time or even suddenly feel better when they are outside. In some cases, one may complain of throat irritation, breathing difficulties, tightness in the chest, runny nose, sneezing, burning sensations in the nose, dry and itchy skin rashes, headaches, itchy eyes, coughing, nausea, drowsiness, and other respiratory complications. Health authorities have asserted that these troubles are caused by unhealthy room condition or simply Sick Classroom Syndrome.
Congested classrooms due to large number of enrolment, roof leakages, inadequate seating facilities, poor ventilation or poorly maintained air conditioning systems and lighting conditions, dust, smoke, fumes or fabric fibers in the air are also unrecognized factors that help contribute to the development of classroom sickness.
A classroom needs good ventilation to catch plenty of fresh air and good air circulation. Potted plants decorated in a room may reduce the level of indoor pollution. Indoor plants that can detoxify the air include snake plant, chrysanthemum, spider plant, aloe vera, broad lady palm, red-edged dracaena, weeping fig and Chinese evergreen. Charcoal could also absorb bad odor. Ornamental trees behind the school building lessen a warm classroom atmosphere during sunny days and the best time to establish a conducive classroom is during non-school days or vacation.
A Child-Friendly Classroom is protective against any distracting health element but most importantly it is the teacher’s friendly smile that helps children feel safe, secure and valued. As a result, their self-esteem increases and they are motivated to engage in the learning process. By: URSULA R. CHENO, Camp 4 Elementary School, Tuba, Benguet

Amianan Balita Ngayon