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. Nearby RV Repairs


    June 17, 2021 at 06:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Camper Repairs Near Me

    You're so cool! I do not think I've read through anything like that before. So nice to find someone with a few unique thoughts on this topic. Seriously.. thank you for starting this up. This website is something that is needed on the internet, someone with a little originality!


    June 17, 2021 at 07:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Bernardo Wortley

    You completed some fine points there. I did a search on the subject and found nearly all people will consent with your blog.


    June 17, 2021 at 11:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. 케이출장

    A fascinating discussion is worth comment. I do think that you need to publish more on this subject, it may not be a taboo matter but typically people don't talk about these topics. To the next! Kind regards!!


    June 17, 2021 at 12:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. RV Repair

    Good day! I could have sworn Iíve visited this website before but after going through some of the articles I realized itís new to me. Anyways, Iím definitely delighted I found it and Iíll be book-marking it and checking back often!


    June 17, 2021 at 12:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. cardiologist near me


    June 17, 2021 at 13:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. optometrist near me

    After I originally left a comment I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Perhaps there is a way you are able to remove me from that service? Thanks!


    June 17, 2021 at 16:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. resturants near me

    I enjoy looking through an article that can make people think. Also, many thanks for allowing me to comment!


    June 17, 2021 at 17:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. kohls near me

    Good information. Lucky me I came across your site by accident (stumbleupon). I have saved it for later!


    June 17, 2021 at 18:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. 대구출장안마

    This is a topic that is close to my heart... Thank you! Where are your contact details though?


    June 17, 2021 at 19:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. 카지노 사이트

    I really love your blog.. Pleasant colors & theme. Did you create this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as Iím attempting to create my very own blog and would like to know where you got this from or what the theme is named. Many thanks!


    June 17, 2021 at 20:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. pharmacepticacom

    hcqs medicine https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 17, 2021 at 21:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. sprouts near me

    Greetings! Very useful advice within this post! It is the little changes that produce the most significant changes. Thanks for sharing!


    June 18, 2021 at 00:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. mcdonald's near me


    June 18, 2021 at 01:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. fireworks near me

    This is the perfect site for everyone who wishes to understand this topic. You understand so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I personally will need toÖHaHa). You certainly put a brand new spin on a subject which has been written about for years. Wonderful stuff, just excellent!


    June 18, 2021 at 03:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. rv parks near me


    June 18, 2021 at 03:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. 부산출장안마

    Greetings! Very useful advice within this post! It is the little changes which will make the most important changes. Many thanks for sharing!


    June 18, 2021 at 03:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. firehouse subs near me


    June 18, 2021 at 08:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Ema Schaber

    With havin so much written content do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright violation? My website has a lot of unique content I've either authored myself or outsourced but it seems a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my authorization. Do you know any solutions to help reduce content from being ripped off? I'd definitely appreciate it.


    June 18, 2021 at 11:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. 울산출장

    An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who had been conducting a little research on this. And he actually ordered me lunch simply because I discovered it for him... lol. So allow me to reword this.... Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time to talk about this subject here on your internet site.


    June 18, 2021 at 12:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. deck cleaning and staining companies

    Hi, I do believe this is a great website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I may come back once again since i have bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help other people.


    June 18, 2021 at 12:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. bathroom remodeling near me


    June 18, 2021 at 14:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. RV Repair Seal Beach

    Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thanks, However I am having problems with your RSS. I donít know the reason why I can't subscribe to it. Is there anyone else getting similar RSS problems? Anyone who knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanks!!


    June 18, 2021 at 18:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. RV Repair Seal Beach


    June 19, 2021 at 02:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. 카지노사이트

    After looking at a number of the blog articles on your web page, I truly like your technique of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back soon. Please visit my website too and tell me what you think.


    June 19, 2021 at 02:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. RV Repair Seal Beach

    Pretty! This was a really wonderful post. Thank you for providing this info.


    June 19, 2021 at 03:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. 창원출장

    Can I simply just say what a relief to find a person that genuinely understands what they are talking about on the web. You definitely understand how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More and more people must look at this and understand this side of the story. I can't believe you aren't more popular since you most certainly possess the gift.


    June 19, 2021 at 04:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. RV Repair Near My Location

    Hi! I could have sworn Iíve been to this website before but after going through some of the articles I realized itís new to me. Anyhow, Iím certainly delighted I discovered it and Iíll be book-marking it and checking back regularly!


    June 19, 2021 at 04:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. RV Repair Shops Near Me Now

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this article and also the rest of the site is extremely good.


    June 19, 2021 at 05:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. RV Repair San Clemente California

    I was able to find good advice from your blog articles.


    June 19, 2021 at 07:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. 포항출장마사지

    A motivating discussion is worth comment. There's no doubt that that you should write more about this topic, it may not be a taboo subject but generally people don't discuss such subjects. To the next! Many thanks!!


    June 19, 2021 at 08:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Sprinter Repair Costa Mesa

    An impressive share! I've just forwarded this onto a co-worker who had been doing a little research on this. And he actually ordered me breakfast simply because I discovered it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some time to talk about this matter here on your site.


    June 19, 2021 at 08:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. RV Repair Places Near Me


    June 19, 2021 at 10:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. RV Repair Shop Near My Location


    June 19, 2021 at 11:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. electricians near me

    When I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on each time a comment is added I get four emails with the exact same comment. Perhaps there is a way you are able to remove me from that service? Thank you!


    June 19, 2021 at 12:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. waterfalls near me


    June 19, 2021 at 12:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. 출장안마

    Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely believe that this amazing site needs a lot more attention. Iíll probably be back again to see more, thanks for the information!


    June 19, 2021 at 13:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Sprinter Repair Orange County

    This website really has all of the info I needed concerning this subject and didnít know who to ask.


    June 19, 2021 at 15:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Sprinter Repair Shop Near Me


    June 19, 2021 at 18:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. RV Repair Shops Nearby

    Hi, I do believe this is an excellent blog. I stumbledupon it 😉 I'm going to return once again since I book-marked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.


    June 19, 2021 at 22:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. 대구출장안마

    Aw, this was an incredibly nice post. Taking the time and actual effort to produce a really good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I put things off a whole lot and don't seem to get nearly anything done.


    June 19, 2021 at 23:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. RV Repair Mission Viejo

    Hi, I believe your blog may be having internet browser compatibility issues. When I look at your web site in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it's got some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Aside from that, great website!


    June 20, 2021 at 00:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. pharmaceptica

    erectile transplant https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 20, 2021 at 01:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Digital Marketing Consultant


    June 20, 2021 at 02:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Video Marketing Company


    June 20, 2021 at 02:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Google Marketing Consultant


    June 20, 2021 at 03:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Google Marketing Business


    June 20, 2021 at 04:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Internet Marketing Firm Near Me


    June 20, 2021 at 05:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Internet Marketing Consultants Near Me

    There's definately a lot to learn about this subject. I love all the points you have made.


    June 20, 2021 at 05:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. review

    I've been browsing on-line greater than 3 hours these days, but I never discovered any attention-grabbing article like yours. It is lovely price enough for me. In my opinion, if all site owners and bloggers made excellent content as you probably did, the internet might be much more helpful than ever before.


    June 20, 2021 at 05:13 | 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 Content Marketing Companies


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.