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. Van Frame Repair


    June 29, 2021 at 06:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. check my site

    You are a very smart person!


    June 29, 2021 at 06:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Sprinter Van Repair Shop

    This is a topic that is near to my heart... Best wishes! Exactly where are your contact details though?


    June 29, 2021 at 07:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. RV Repair Huntington Beach


    June 29, 2021 at 07:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. pharmaceptica.com

    tadalafil peptides https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 29, 2021 at 08:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. 먹튀검증

    Great post. I'm dealing with some of these issues as well..


    June 29, 2021 at 09:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. pharmacepticacom

    tadalafil sublingual https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 29, 2021 at 09:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. RV Repair Around Me

    I want to to thank you for this wonderful read!! I definitely loved every bit of it. I've got you saved as a favorite to check out new things you postÖ


    June 29, 2021 at 12:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. pharmaceptica

    chloroquin side effects https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 29, 2021 at 14:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. 먹튀검증사이트

    Good article! We will be linking to this particularly great article on our site. Keep up the good writing.


    June 29, 2021 at 14:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. RV Repair Near Me Now


    June 29, 2021 at 15:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. 포항출장마사지

    Howdy, There's no doubt that your site might be having web browser compatibility issues. Whenever I take a look at your web site in Safari, it looks fine however, when opening in IE, it's got some overlapping issues. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Besides that, wonderful blog!


    June 29, 2021 at 16:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. RV Repair Shop Near My Location

    I couldnít refrain from commenting. Well written!


    June 29, 2021 at 17:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. 파워볼사이트

    Hello, i think that i saw you visited my website thus i came to “return the favor”.I'm
    attempting to find things to improve my website!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

    June 29, 2021 at 18:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. RV Repair Shops Near My Location

    Itís hard to come by educated people about this subject, however, you seem like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks


    June 29, 2021 at 18:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. 포항출장마사지

    After I originally commented I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the same comment. Is there a way you are able to remove me from that service? Cheers!


    June 29, 2021 at 18:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. RV Repair Orange County

    That is a good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere. Simple but very accurate informationÖ Many thanks for sharing this one. A must read post!


    June 29, 2021 at 19:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Sprinter Repair Orange County

    I want to to thank you for this good read!! I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it. I've got you bookmarked to check out new stuff you postÖ


    June 29, 2021 at 23:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Nearest RV Repair

    This is a great tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere. Brief but very precise informationÖ Thanks for sharing this one. A must read post!


    June 29, 2021 at 23:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. E 150 Van Power Window Repair

    The very next time I read a blog, Hopefully it does not fail me as much as this one. After all, Yes, it was my choice to read through, but I truly believed you'd have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of crying about something that you could possibly fix if you were not too busy seeking attention.


    June 30, 2021 at 03:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Sprinter Van Mechanic Shop

    I blog often and I seriously appreciate your information. Your article has really peaked my interest. I am going to book mark your blog and keep checking for new details about once a week. I opted in for your Feed as well.


    June 30, 2021 at 08:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Mercedes Benz Sprinter Service Centers Near Me

    You have made some decent points there. I looked on the net for additional information about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this site.


    June 30, 2021 at 08:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. 먹튀검증사이트

    This site was... how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something that helped me. Kudos!


    June 30, 2021 at 09:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. RV Repair Seal Beach

    Great article. I'm dealing with some of these issues as well..


    June 30, 2021 at 10:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. 구미출장마사지

    Pretty! This was an incredibly wonderful article. Thanks for providing these details.


    June 30, 2021 at 11:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Video Marketing Service

    I could not refrain from commenting. Well written!


    June 30, 2021 at 13:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Glenn Snaples

    Citizen has an considerable collection of watches, mainly focusing on sporting activities as well as pilot watches. They are divided right into 5 categories (Diving, Pilot, Efficiency, Ladies, Exec) which we'll take a closer look at below. One of Citizen Nighthawk most current designs is the Argonautic Bronze TT, which is limited to just 300 items. The production of this watch follows the success of the previous year's Citizen Nighthawk bronze design, which sold out rapidly.


    July 10, 2021 at 12:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. 온라인바둑이

    This site definitely has all the information and facts I needed about this subject and didnít know who to ask.


    August 8, 2021 at 13:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Burton Hazlewood

    Create far more; that’s all I must say. It appears as though you relied within the video for making your place. You understand what you’re speaking about, why squander your intelligence on just submitting films on your website when you could be providing us something enlightening to examine?


    September 24, 2021 at 17:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Izola Battle

    My lover and I stumbled over right here unique Site and believed I would as well check points out. I like what I see so now I’m next you. Sit up for testing your Website frequently.


    November 1, 2021 at 15:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Lucien Vandenbergh

    As soon as I noticed this internet site I went on reddit to share some of the love with them.


    April 17, 2022 at 03:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Bradford Bolanos

    You made some clear points there. I looked on the internet for the subject matter and found most persons will go along with with your website.

    May 13, 2022 at 03:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Elvis movie

    Taking on this role, "I got down to find his humanity," Butler mentioned.


    June 13, 2022 at 00:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Lightyear movie

    Interviews with leading movie and TV creators about their course of and craft.


    June 16, 2022 at 13:55 | 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 RV Solar Panels Systems California


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.