Dousing our kid’s hands with hand sanitizer regularly at school probably puts a lot of germ-concerned parents at ease. But are these measures really protecting our kids from harmful germs that can get them sick? A new study suggests using hand sanitizers in school isn’t really protecting our kids from getting sick.
CNN reports about the New Zealand study that worked with 68 primary schools to find out if using hand sanitizers along with regular soap and water hand washing would lead to less absences due to illness.
During the study, the school children were given a half hour lesson about the importance of hygiene. They were then broken up into two groups, with one group washing hands with soap and water regularly as well as using hand sanitizers whenever they coughed, sneezed or prepared for a meal and the other group only washed hands but didn’t use hand sanitizer.
What researchers found was that there were about the same amount of absences due to illness in both groups and it didn’t seem the hand sanitizer group was faring any better from this extra measure. Researchers explain the findings writing, “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.”
But don’t toss out the hand sanitizer just yet. The Center for Disease Control points out that it is always best to wash hands with soap and water when a sink is available, but in the absence of this amenity using an alcohol based hand sanitizer can be your second line of defense against germs.
What do you think of the new study that finds using hand sanitizers in schools may not prevent the spread of germs?
When do you break out the hand sanitizer?
I have two boys in elementary school and they have hand sanitizer at their school and I've even donated some but honestly don't know if it's just to make me as a parent feel better or if it actually keeps them from getting sicker. They get more sick then I did when I was a kid and I had never heard of hand sanitizer as a child. My boys know to wash their hands and use the hand sanitizer but seem to always be bringing home something.
As a parent of a 8 year old son who is always active, i truly believe in hand sanitizers in schools and to have with my son at all times! He always washes his hands with soap and water when he gets in his class, and after he uses the bathroom, but even the bathrooms dont have soap and he only washes wit water and that is one ways hand sanitizers come in handy
We are creating super bugs by using too many anti-bacterial cleaners and soaps. Good ol' soap and water is better. However, in a school setting, I think it is OK because most kids will use the sanitizers but maybe not take the time to wash their hands.
I heard some hand sanitizers are not safe since the kids end up putting their fingers in their mouth and eating it afterward, and there are some chemicals to the hand sanitizers.
I think kids are washing their hands way too much at school. Mine come home with dried, chapped hands during the school season because they wash them so much. I've had to tell them not to wash them for a couple of days with antibacterial soap and sanitizer, and instead just use Aquafore.
Hand sanitizer is a wonderful substitution but I prefer my children to wash with soap and warm water. I think teachers should still encourage children to use soap and not focus so much on hand sanitizer.
Hand sanitizer its the best form to maintenance our kids without germs.
I do believe that as hand sanitizer is a helpful substitution, it does not replace regular hand washing. Schools should encourage hand washing breaks during the day especially before lunch and more often during cold and flu season. I keep a bottle in my purse and in my car to use when I feel the need. I have to make work bank deposits and always use it after touching the container in the bank drive through.