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. aika online private server source


    May 4, 2021 at 18:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. FmrfEncox

    generic cialis prices http://cialisee.com/ – cheap real cialis cialis mit paypal bezahlen

    May 4, 2021 at 18:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. truck repair shop for rent

    I blog often and I seriously appreciate your content. The article has truly peaked my interest. I will take a note of your blog and keep checking for new details about once a week. I subscribed to your Feed too.


    May 4, 2021 at 20:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. game aika online


    May 4, 2021 at 23:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. truck trailer repair near me

    Great post! We will be linking to this great article on our website. Keep up the good writing.


    May 5, 2021 at 02:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. aika online private server download

    Good article. I will be dealing with a few of these issues as well..


    May 5, 2021 at 03:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. LebnEncox

    no 1 canadian pharcharmy online https://xlnpharmacy.com/ canadian pharmacy in canada

    May 5, 2021 at 06:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. 18 wheeler truck repair near me


    May 5, 2021 at 08:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. big truck tire repair near me

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


    May 5, 2021 at 09:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. aika private server english

    Right here is the perfect blog for anyone who would like to understand this topic. You realize a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually will need to…HaHa). You certainly put a brand new spin on a topic which has been discussed for ages. Wonderful stuff, just great!


    May 5, 2021 at 10:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. aika private server english

    I could not resist commenting. Well written!


    May 5, 2021 at 11:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Optometrist Phoenix Az


    May 5, 2021 at 14:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. RV Headlights California


    May 5, 2021 at 17:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. truck electrical

    The very next time I read a blog, Hopefully it does not disappoint me just as much as this particular one. I mean, Yes, it was my choice to read through, however I truly thought you'd have something helpful to say. All I hear is a bunch of crying about something you could possibly fix if you were not too busy looking for attention.


    May 5, 2021 at 18:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. red lobster near me

    You made some really good points there. I checked on the web for more information about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this web site.


    May 5, 2021 at 19:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Vision Centers Near Me


    May 5, 2021 at 21:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. LbsoZisse

    generic cialis dapoxetine http://ucialisdas.com/ cialis reviews

    May 6, 2021 at 01:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. confidence training near me

    I’m amazed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you've hit the nail on the head. The issue is something that not enough folks are speaking intelligently about. I'm very happy I came across this during my search for something regarding this.


    May 6, 2021 at 02:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. free robux generator 2020

    Someone necessarily help to make significantly articles I might state. That is the first time I frequented your website page and thus far? I surprised with the research you made to create this actual publish extraordinary. Excellent task!


    May 6, 2021 at 09:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. roblox generator

    Needed to draft you this very little note so as to say thanks yet again for your incredible opinions you've contributed on this site. It is simply incredibly open-handed of people like you to make without restraint all that a number of people might have offered for sale for an e book to generate some money for their own end, most importantly considering that you could possibly have tried it if you ever decided. These techniques likewise served to become easy way to fully grasp that someone else have the identical dream really like my personal own to understand a great deal more when it comes to this condition. I'm certain there are a lot more pleasant opportunities in the future for those who take a look at your blog.


    May 6, 2021 at 09:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. mobile games

    I like the helpful information you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently. I'm quite sure I will learn many new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!


    May 6, 2021 at 09:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. new android games

    Very interesting details you have mentioned , thankyou for putting up. "The unspoken word never does harm." by Kossuth.


    May 6, 2021 at 10:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. ios games

    Fantastic site. Plenty of useful information here. I am sending it to some friends ans additionally sharing in delicious. And naturally, thanks in your sweat!


    May 6, 2021 at 10:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. new ios games

    Normally I don't learn post on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very pressured me to take a look at and do it! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thank you, quite nice article.


    May 6, 2021 at 10:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. mobile games tier list

    Nice read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing some research on that. And he actually bought me lunch since I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch! "Dreams are real while they last. Can we say more of life" by Henry Havelock Ellis.


    May 6, 2021 at 10:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. mobile games 2020

    Keep up the excellent piece of work, I read few blog posts on this website and I conceive that your blog is real interesting and holds lots of fantastic information.


    May 6, 2021 at 10:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. chloroquine tablets

    chloroquine without prescription https://chloroquineorigin.com/ cloraquine

    May 6, 2021 at 12:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. seafood market near me

    Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely think this site needs a lot more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the info!


    May 6, 2021 at 17:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. New Forklift Maintenance California

    Very good info. Lucky me I recently found your website by chance (stumbleupon). I've book-marked it for later!


    May 6, 2021 at 17:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Wine Store Near My Location


    May 6, 2021 at 17:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. AnooEncox

    best place to buy viagra online review https://llviagra.com/ viagra and glaucoma

    May 7, 2021 at 06:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. rv parts temecula

    Your style is so unique in comparison to other folks I've read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this page.


    May 7, 2021 at 06:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. 3 Gallon Kegs


    May 7, 2021 at 08:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Forklift Service Near Me

    Greetings! Very helpful advice within this article! It's the little changes which will make the biggest changes. Many thanks for sharing!


    May 7, 2021 at 08:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. auto body shop near me

    I blog frequently and I truly appreciate your information. This article has truly peaked my interest. I will bookmark your blog and keep checking for new details about once a week. I subscribed to your RSS feed too.


    May 7, 2021 at 14:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. movies4ufree

    Enjoy unrestricted exclusive motion pictures and originals online on aha. Stream films and originals to your Smart TELEVISION, Roku, Mac, Tablets, Mobile, COMPUTER and on even more


    May 7, 2021 at 16:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. shop for seats rv

    Great post! We are linking to this particularly great content on our site. Keep up the good writing.


    May 7, 2021 at 19:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. RebfZisse

    can i buy cialis in malaysia http://rcialisgl.com/ – low cost cialis cialis on paypal

    May 7, 2021 at 20:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Digital Marketing Service

    bookmarked!!, I like your site!


    May 7, 2021 at 23:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. accident repair shop near me


    May 7, 2021 at 23:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Lola Fraiser

    Hey, you used to write excellent, but the last several posts have been kinda boring… I miss your tremendous writings. Past several posts are just a bit out of track! come on!


    May 8, 2021 at 00:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Internet Marketing Jobs Near Me


    May 8, 2021 at 02:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. RebfZisse

    how to obtain cialis https://rcialisgl.com/ generic cialis canada

    May 8, 2021 at 06:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Internet Marketing Companies Irvine

    Everything is very open with a clear description of the issues. It was truly informative. Your site is very helpful. Thank you for sharing!


    May 8, 2021 at 07:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Google Marketing Contractor


    May 8, 2021 at 09:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. alquiler de carros en villavicencio

    I like this web blog very much, Its a rattling nice spot to read and obtain info .


    May 8, 2021 at 10:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. 먹튀

    Excellent article. I am going through a few of these issues as well..


    May 8, 2021 at 11:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Social Media Marketing La Habra


    May 8, 2021 at 11:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Caren Trippany

    Man that was very entertaining and at the same time informative.’:;;.


    May 8, 2021 at 12:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Digital Marketing Agency California


    May 8, 2021 at 13:17 | 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 pharmacepticacom


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.