Hand Sanitizers may not Cut Rate of School Absences

A recent study published in the journal PLOS Medicinesuggests that placing hand-sanitizers in schools does not reduce absences due to illness. The researchers looked at 2,443 students aged 5-11 in 68 schools in New Zealand. All of the students received a 30-minute in-class hygiene lecture reinforcing the importance of hand washing. No-touch hand sanitizer dispensers were only installed in the classrooms of half of the participating schools for 20 weeks. At the conclusion of the study, the researchers found no difference in the number of absences related to sickness between the two groups. However, this research does not apply to hospitals, where hand sanitizers are an essential part of infection control says lead study author Patricia Priest.