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Hand Sanitizers Do Not Cut School Absences

Hand Sanitizers Do Not Cut School Absences

All schools try to keep students healthy and encourage them to avoid illnesses by washing their hands. Many schools have installed alcohol-based hand sanitation stations, hoping that this will keep students in class and reduce school absences. The expense of putting these stations in school may not be worth it, however.

According to USA Today, adding alcohol-based stations did not reduce the amount of school absences. The findings, reported in PLOS Magazine, do not apply to hospitals and health care facilities -- the study looked at 2,443 students, ages 5 to 11, in 68 schools in New Zealand.

"Personally, I am not convinced that the extra exhortation to wash hands would have had a major, sustained impact on primary-school children's hand hygiene practice over 20 weeks, but it has to be considered as a possibility," said Patricia Priest, lead author of the study.

Researchers found that the rate of absences due to illness was similar in schools that used the hand sanitizer vs. those that used hot soap and water.

Read the full story. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor

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