Kids Who Use Hand Sanitizer Miss Fewer Days of Day Care

Kids Who Use Hand Sanitizer Miss Fewer Days of Day Care

So when it comes to protecting your kids from getting sick, a new study suggests reaching for the hand sanitizer may be more effective than just washing with soap and water.

The data shows that the children using soap and water had a 21% greater chance of coming down with cold-like symptoms than the kids using hand sanitizer.

Kids who cleaned their hands using hand sanitizer instead of soap and water missed less school, had fewer respiratory infections and were prescribed fewer antibiotics. Children were split into three groups: One that used hand sanitizer, the second one used soap and water, and a control group that followed the day care's standard hand-washing routines.

At the end of the eight-month study, 5,211 respiratory infections were documented leading to 5,186 sick days, but the hand sanitizer group had a clear advantage. They were given hygiene protocols including washing hands before and after lunch, as they arrived home and after coughing, sneezing or blowing their noses, the study said. "Nowadays hand sanitizer is more readily available for kids in school".

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"I think that the main contribution of this paper is its focus on really young children in day care", said Dr. Don Goldmann, chief medical and scientific officer emeritus at the Institute of Healthcare Improvement.

Researchers found those who used hand sanitizer missed 3.25 percent of days of day care. Haas, president of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, was not involved in the study.

Infection prevention specialist Joan Ivaska says keeping your hands germ free is the next best protection, after vaccination. That's compared to 3.9 percent of missed days among the children who washed with only soap and water.

"Apply about a dime size in one hand and then apply it on both of your hands, making sure to get between your fingers, around your nail beds and up near your wrist, which are areas that people commonly miss". Little ones also require supervision when using the alcohol-based product, lest they get it in their mouths. Eek!

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