Britain's ‘Back to School’ COVID concerns as parents face fears over hand hygiene

Press Release 6 Mins Read
a top down photo of someone using an ineos hygienics hand sanitiser dispenser
  • Nearly half [43%] of parents are dreading their kids going back to school - amid fears over them bringing COVID into the home, while 38 per cent said they felt their children didn’t take hygiene in the home as seriously as they could
  • Creating precision solutions for the home and elite sports teams, INEOS Hygienics is a trusted name in high-performance hygiene. As children go back to school, the global healthcare provider is encouraging parents to turn the nation’s hallways into high-performance hand sanitising pit stops as a fun and engaging way to help remove the threat of germs from the front door

Nearly half [43%] of parents are dreading their kids going back to school - amid fears over them bringing COVID into the home, according to new research.

September marks the return of children to the classroom after the six-week summer break, with the Government looking to review almost all coronavirus restrictions.

That could mean kids may not have to wear masks and might be allowed to mix freely with classmates and friends who were forced into bubbles during the last school year.

The final term ended with more than one million children in isolation after coming into close contact with others who tested positive.

And that has left over a quarter [26%] of parents fearing a repeat when the new year starts, a study by INEOS Hygienics, one of the leading producers of hospital grade hand sanitiser, found.

Two in three [67%] parents would like to see an end to the policy of sending children home to self-isolate en masse, despite them testing negative for the virus, due to the disruption it causes.

Moreover, 77% felt their children had already missed too much of their education program and been alienated from friends and relatives.

Children bringing COVID home emerged as the biggest worry for parents, while trying to control the number of visitors entering the home is also playing on the minds of parents.

Creating precision solutions for the home and elite sports teams, INEOS Hygienics is a trusted name in high-performance hygiene.

“The past year has taught us all the importance of family and keeping our loved-ones safe”, said George Ratcliffe, Chief Operating Officer.

“Children are often racing around and into everything, so it’s not surprising that their hands have the potential to pick up lots of germs and bacteria.

"As kids go back to school, when they come home, we’re encouraging parents to turn the nation’s hallways into high-performance hand sanitiser pit stops as a fun and engaging way to help remove bacterial threats from the front door.

“It can be easy to let good habits slip by the wayside, but there’s never been a more important time for us to be hygienic and to keep safe and keep others around us safe.”

The study also revealed one in five [20 per cent] parents felt uncomfortable arranging indoor playdates during the holidays and another 16 per cent would possibly ban them if COVID starts getting worse again.

While 12% expressed fears over birthday parties and blowing candles out – potentially covering the cake in harmful virus particles.

Almost two in five [38 per cent] said they felt their children didn’t take hygiene in the home as seriously as they could. And another 13 per cent agreed they themselves could have done better in terms of household hygiene amid the pandemic.  

Of the 1500 parents who were polled in the research, over a fifth [21%] believed that while their household hygiene had improved at the beginning of the pandemic, standards had now dipped again. 

“As we adapt and evolve in a post-pandemic world - and especially with children heading back to school - hygiene and sanitisation is vital in protecting ourselves and those around us”, continued Mr Ratcliffe.

“We pride ourselves at INEOS Hygienics as being a trusted name in high-performance hygiene, and with our daily routines changing for the long term, hand sanitiser continues to play an important role in keeping our hands 99.9% free from viruses and bacteria.” 

According to the research, 18 per cent of parents have asked family and friends to clean their hands before being allowed in the house and another 15 per cent have asked friends of their children to sanitise their hands. 

But over one in ten [12 per cent] said they didn’t feel confident asking visitors to sanitise because it would be ‘embarrassing’ or ‘awkward’ to do so’.

It also emerged that despite hand sanitiser being recommended to assist in the fight against coronavirus, more than a third [34%] of parents currently don’t have it in their home.

Of those that do, over half [57 percent] agreed that they do not check if it’s hospital grade. 

Steeped in manufacturing excellence, INEOS Hygienics is one of the leading producers of hospital grade hand sanitiser. Using high-purity synthetic ethanol, it passes rigorous safety standards with 75% pharmaceutical grade alcohol that kills 99.9% of viruses and bacteria.

Government guidance on the length of time we should clean our hands was also revealed as a rule likely to be flouted, with over a third [36 per cent] admitting they washed their hands for less than 20 seconds.

INEOS Hygienics puts personal hygiene in pole position with a precision engineered touchless sanitisation dispenser for the home.

“Our touchless dispenser is just one of the many ways in which INEOS Hygienics is leading the way in sanitisation and hygiene”, added George Ratcliffe.

“Alleviating the awkwardness of asking people, by positioning it in a hallway or lobby, the device is a fuss-free reminder to visitors and family to keep hands clean, and to help keep the home protected against viruses and bacteria from the outside world.

“We are rapidly developing a range of unique products, all containing the company’s signature hospital grade sanitiser.”

“With parents all across the country facing concerns over their children heading back to the classroom, it’s also crucial for schools to implement the importance of sanitation and hygiene, in order to safeguard education and ensure zero days are missed.”

As the nation continues to respond to the challenges and effects of COVID on schools, communities and lives across the UK, sport and physical activity play an important role in the long-term recovery of the virus. INEOS supports The Daily Mile initiative which focuses on improving the physical, social, emotional, mental health and wellbeing of our children.

The Daily Mile is a social and physical activity, with children jogging, running, or wheeling in the fresh air with friends for 15 minutes a day. As schools return, physical activity is a brilliant and safe way for children and young people to get involved and feel connected again.

To help target viruses with confidence in the home, the INEOS Sanitiser dispenser is available at Amazon. And if you’re on the go getting the kids ready for nursery or school, hospital grade hand gel is available at Boots.


The biggest fears of parents over children going back to school

  1. Catching Covid, falling ill and bringing it into the home
  2. Other children in the school going abroad over summer and bringing back different variants
  3. A return to remote learning or term ending too soon if there is another Covid outbreak
  4. He/she being sent home to isolate
  5. Who he/she will mix with


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Notes to editors

The independent survey was conducted by Censuswide and commissioned by INEOS Hygienics, polling 1,503 parents with kids in school / of school age, between 16.08.2021 - 18.08.202.