Summer is finally here and the days are long and warm again. With summer holidays fast approaching many families will be packing up the car and heading for their favourite vacation spot.
For families with children this means frequent stops at any one of the dozens of rest stops you pass on your way. However, the bathrooms themselves present a hygiene nightmare, and the biggest hurdle to having a happy, healthy vacation.
A 2018 survey on holiday travel in Germany showed that a staggering 18.71 million people made their holiday trip by car. Whether people are headed North, South, East or West, people typically need at least one washroom break for every 3 hours travelled. According to this survey, that means more than 500 million visits to gas stations across the country.
Though many vacationers will avoid the use of toilet seats in order to protect themselves from germs, germs thrive on many other locations. Door handles, chairs, and diaper changing stations, are all touched by hordes of people every day, and are not subject to the same strict cleaning cycles as toilet seats.
In an effort to better understand and improve service areas the Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club (ADAC) used replica washroom samples to search for faecal germs and pathogens, such as salmonella or rotaviruses.
“Gastrointestinal or urinary tract infections such as cystitis are possible,” explained ADAC spokeswoman Sabine Behr.
Children are particularly vulnerable and can contract skin infections on poorly cleaned diaper-changing tables at rest stops.
“Conjunctivitis is also a threat as pathogens can be transmitted into the eyes from the door handle via the hands.” (dpa)
As a general rule, you should avoid touching the toilet seat with your hands when visiting service areas. To increase protection, the use of a disinfectant after each washroom visit is recommended. However, regular and thorough hand washing is still the most effective protection against germs, as most pathogens are transmitted via the hands.
Overall the standard of hygiene at German service stations can be regarded as satisfactory. However these can also be s more expensive than other areas such as car parks.
Today, a wide range of hygiene solutions are available to improve the experience of users. From touchless dispensers, to hygienic waste bins – a high-end, hygienic washroom will draw future users. If a service area is meticulously clean, tourists and business travellers are likely to take notice. As a result the service area operator might see increased revenue throughout the year, and families will arrive happy and healthy during their travels. The SanTRAL® complete series, with its robust design and unparalleled options, is your perfect partner for a hygienic washroom experience. Find out more!