August 12th, 2014
04:38 PM ET

Hand sanitizer doesn't help in schools

School children get low marks when it comes to spreading germs, often sharing bugs with their classmates. So scientists wondered if putting hand sanitizers into elementary school classrooms would lead to fewer absences.

The study

Researchers in New Zealand set out to discover if using alcohol-based hand sanitizers, in addition to regular hand washing, would cut back on absentee rates in schools.

They recruited 68 primary schools, and all students were given a half-hour hygiene lesson. They then assigned half of the schools to a control group where children washed their hands with soap and water. The schools in the intervention group did the same, but were also asked to use classroom hand sanitizers when they coughed or sneezed, and before meals.

When children missed school, calls were made to find out if the child was sick. The research team checked-in with the caregivers of more than 2,400 children, keeping track of the type and length of their illnesses during 20 weeks of school.

The results

Absentee rates between the two groups were virtually the same, the study authors found.

"These findings suggest that, in high-income countries where clean water for hand washing is readily available, putting resources into extra hand hygiene by providing hand sanitizer in classrooms may not be an effective way to break the child-to-child transmission of infectious diseases," an accompanying editorial in the journal concluded.


An unexpected flu epidemic during the course of the study may have affected the findings. Heightened awareness about the benefits of clean hands during the epidemic may have led to more hand washing overall, making it more difficult to see if hand sanitizers gave added benefit, says Dr. Jennifer Shu, a pediatrician in Atlanta who was not involved with the study.

But the study authors say that the impact of hand sanitizer would be particularly important during an influenza pandemic, and they found "providing hand sanitizer was not an effective mechanism for reducing illness absence."

The takeaway

So what is the takeaway message for schools and parents? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it's best to have children wash their hands with soap and water. If a sink is not available, hand sanitizers with an alcohol concentration of at least 60% are a good second choice.

The bottom line, do what it takes to rub those germs away.

soundoff (1,453 Responses)
  1. rv water leak repair

    After checking out a handful of the blog articles on your site, I seriously like your way of blogging. I added it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon. Please check out my website as well and tell me your opinion.


    May 23, 2021 at 02:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. brimonidine

    combigan brimonidine side effects

    May 23, 2021 at 02:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. esurance repair shops


    May 23, 2021 at 03:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. 먹튀검증

    Spot on with this write-up, I really feel this website needs a lot more attention. Iíll probably be returning to read more, thanks for the advice!


    May 23, 2021 at 04:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Soosteemocush

    prescription tadalafil online buy cialis pills tadalafil goodrx tadalafil https://tadalafilww.com/

    May 23, 2021 at 12:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. your mobile games

    I am extremely impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Either way keep up the excellent quality writing, it is rare to see a great blog like this one today..


    May 23, 2021 at 12:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. ios games

    Thanks for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do some research on this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more from this post. I am very glad to see such wonderful info being shared freely out there.


    May 23, 2021 at 12:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Tembepteriope

    https://tadacipetadalafil.com/ tadalafil https://tadalafilol.com/ – tadalafil dosage where to buy cialis without prescription

    May 23, 2021 at 13:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Tembepteriope

    lowest price cialis where to get tadalafil side effects for tadalafil tadalafil https://tadacipetadalafil.com/ – tadalafil without a doctor prescription

    May 23, 2021 at 17:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. RV Mattresses Orange County


    May 23, 2021 at 19:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. metal shredder wear parts

    Likewise referred to as carbon steel, this material is just one of one of the most common choices you'll find for bearings The 52100 bearing steel is a high carbon, low alloy steel that contains chromium. These attributes make chrome steel a fantastic selection for many basic applications seeking slim area bearings.


    May 23, 2021 at 23:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. 카지노사이트

    I'm amazed, I must say. Seldom do I come across a blog that's equally
    educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head.

    The issue is something which too few people are speaking intelligently about.

    I am very happy that I found this during my search for something relating to this.

    May 24, 2021 at 07:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. GtnbCrulk

    when should you take viagra https://jokviagra.com/ viagra vs sildenafil

    May 24, 2021 at 07:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. combigan

    buy generic brimonidine generic combigan

    May 24, 2021 at 07:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. brimonidine

    combigan side effects combigan generic

    May 24, 2021 at 10:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. rv alignment

    Great information. Lucky me I discovered your website by accident (stumbleupon). I have saved it for later!


    May 24, 2021 at 11:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. android games 2021

    I really appreciate this post. I have been looking everywhere for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thank you again!


    May 24, 2021 at 11:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. free android games

    You could certainly see your skills within the work you write. The sector hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who are not afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart. "Experience is a good school, but the fees are high." by Heinrich Heine.


    May 24, 2021 at 12:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. your mobile games

    I really appreciate this post. I have been looking everywhere for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You've made my day! Thx again!


    May 24, 2021 at 12:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. new mobile games

    I enjoy the efforts you have put in this, thanks for all the great posts.


    May 24, 2021 at 12:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. LebnEncox

    Micronase longs drug store global pharmacy

    May 24, 2021 at 15:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Tembepteriope

    https://tadalafilww.com/ buy tadalafil https://tadalafilww.com/ – tadalafil price walmart buy cialis pills

    May 24, 2021 at 17:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. rv park orange county ca

    Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thanks, However I am encountering problems with your RSS. I don’t understand why I can't subscribe to it. Is there anybody else getting identical RSS problems? Anyone who knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanks!!


    May 24, 2021 at 19:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. semi truck polishing near me


    May 24, 2021 at 19:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. best body shop in orange county


    May 24, 2021 at 19:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. playerbola.xyz

    Excellent post. I used to be checking continuously this blog and I'm impressed!
    Extremely useful info specifically the final section :
    ) I handle such info much. I used to be seeking this certain info for a long
    time. Thank you and best of luck.

    May 24, 2021 at 20:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. GtnbCrulk

    walmart viagra http://jokviagra.com/ viagra canada free sample

    May 24, 2021 at 20:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Unitmerienepeft

    https://tadacipetadalafil.com/ side effects for tadalafil tadalafil liquid cialis at canadian pharmacy cialis without prescription

    May 24, 2021 at 21:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. glazed apricot gelato strain

    You actually make it seem really easy together with your presentation however I to find this matter to be actually one
    thing that I believe I might never understand. It kind of feels too complex and extremely wide for
    me. I am taking a look forward to your subsequent post, I'll attempt to get the dangle of

    May 24, 2021 at 21:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. rv washing near me

    Great post. I am going through many of these issues as well..


    May 24, 2021 at 22:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. tausAffessy

    tadalafil side effects cialis without a prescription where to get tadalafil https://tadagatadalafil.com/

    May 24, 2021 at 23:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Internet Marketing Agency Near Me


    May 25, 2021 at 01:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Video Marketing Agencies


    May 25, 2021 at 01:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. LbsoZisse

    cialis canada and paypal https://ucialisdas.com/ cheap generic cialis

    May 25, 2021 at 01:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Forklifts California

    Aw, this was an exceptionally nice post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to create a very good article… but what can I say… I put things off a whole lot and never seem to get anything done.


    May 25, 2021 at 02:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Digital Marketing Agency Near Me


    May 25, 2021 at 03:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Forklift Dealer Near Me

    Spot on with this write-up, I really believe that this web site needs far more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read more, thanks for the advice!


    May 25, 2021 at 05:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Used Forklift Service California

    I was very happy to find this web site. I want to to thank you for your time just for this wonderful read!! I definitely savored every bit of it and I have you saved as a favorite to see new things in your site.


    May 25, 2021 at 06:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. EncoxGtv

    reputable canadian mail order pharmacy pharmacy online mexico vyvanse canada pharmacy

    May 25, 2021 at 08:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. SEO Marketing Service

    Greetings! Very useful advice within this post! It's the little changes that make the biggest changes. Many thanks for sharing!


    May 25, 2021 at 08:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Forklift Dealer Orange County


    May 25, 2021 at 08:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Video Marketing Consultants

    That is a great tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere. Short but very accurate info… Appreciate your sharing this one. A must read article!


    May 25, 2021 at 09:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Vicky Macknair

    That said, we are in a fantastic state of mind today. All set to place our ' see sage' qualifications on the line as well as order the bull by the horns.


    May 25, 2021 at 10:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Local Marketing Firms


    May 25, 2021 at 12:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. avanafil

    avanafil pill avana

    May 25, 2021 at 12:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. 출장마사지

    Itís hard to find experienced people on this subject, however, you sound like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks


    May 25, 2021 at 14:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. SEO Marketing Companies


    May 25, 2021 at 15:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. avanafil

    avana tablet buy avanafil canada

    May 25, 2021 at 15:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Social Media Marketing Specialist


    May 25, 2021 at 15:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. SEO Marketing Company


    May 25, 2021 at 17:43 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29

Leave a Reply to avana


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.