Study: skip the hand sanitizer, teach hand-washing

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Is a single squirt really all it takes to keep kids from getting sick in school?

Not so, according to a new study that says these alcohol-based gels are no protection against sick days. Researchers in New Zealand compared kids aged 5-11. All the children were educated in hand-washing and hygiene. But half used hand sanitizers placed in their classrooms.

In both groups, sick days were roughly the same over a five-month period. In short, having hand sanitizer in classrooms was no better than just teaching kids to wash their hands.

Bottom line for parents: you might want to get back to the basics. Teach your child good hand-washing and hygiene. It might mean fewer bottles of hand sanitizer and fewer sniffles.

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