Hard to believe, but summer is more than half over. In a few short weeks children will be going back to school.

One thing that might be different for students this year is that familiar "Janitor Bob" may no longer be cleaning the facility. Our cover story discusses the accelerating trend of outsourcing cleaning operations to building service contractors.

Regardless of who is servicing the school, it's imperative that student health is kept top of mind. While MRSA no longer makes national headlines, it's still a serious issue for schools. This article outlines tips to prevent MRSA outbreaks before and during the school year.

Preventing cross-contamination can help keep students healthy (and in their desks) by limiting the spread of staph infections, colds and influenza. But distributors can also play a role in reducing the number of asthma attacks in schools. Asthma accounts for nearly 15 million missed school days per year and affects one out of every 13 school-age children. Studies have shown that improving indoor air quality (IAQ) can reduce asthma in schools by nearly 40 percent.

Remember that children are more vulnerable to chemical exposure than adults. Because of their low body weight, kids are actually "absorbing" more air than adults. Chemicals that emit high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can trigger asthma attacks as well. Look for products with low-VOC emitting formulas.

Distributors can outfit janitors with microfiber cloths and mops, and HEPA-filtered vacuums. These products will help capture common asthma triggers including pet dander, dust mites and dust particles. Installing the recommended 10 to 15 feet of matting at entryways prevents dirt and dust from entering a facility.