Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hand sanitizers in classrooms do not reduce school absences in children

Date:
August 12, 2014
Source:
PLOS
Summary:
Installing alcohol-based hand sanitizer dispensers in the classrooms does not lead to reductions in the rate of school absences in children, according to new research from New Zealand.

Installing alcohol-based hand sanitizer dispensers in the classrooms does not lead to reductions in the rate of school absences in children, according to a study published in this week's PLOS Medicine led by Patricia Priest and colleagues from the University of Otago, New Zealand.

Related Articles


The researchers conducted a cluster randomized trial that that randomly assigned 68 city primary schools in New Zealand to the intervention or control group and measured the rate of school absence in children (aged 5-11 years) attending the participating schools. All children received a 30-minute in-class hand hygiene education session. In those schools randomly assigned to the intervention group, alcohol-based hand sanitizer dispensers were installed in the classrooms over two winter terms and the children were asked to use the dispensers after coughing or sneezing and on the way out of the classroom for morning break or lunch.

In the 2443 children whose caregivers agreed to be telephoned about the reason for absence, the researchers report that the rate of school absences due to any illness was similar in the intervention and control schools. Moreover, among these children, the provision of a hand sanitizer did not reduce the number of absences due to a specific illness (respiratory or gastrointestinal), the length of illness and length of absence from school, or the number of episodes in which at least one other family member became ill. When using school attendance records from all children in the participating schools, the number of absences for any reason and length of absence episode did not differ between the intervention and control schools.

While these findings suggest that providing hand sanitizer in classrooms may not be an effective way to reduce child-to-child transmission of infectious diseases in high income countries, there are some limitations to the study. For example, the trial was undertaken during an influenza epidemic, therefore influenza-related public-health messages about good hand hygiene may have increased hand hygiene among all the children in the study and obscured any effectiveness of the intervention. Furthermore, the generalizability of the findings to other high income countries is unclear.

The authors say: "The provision of hand sanitizers in addition to usual hand hygiene in primary schools in New Zealand did not prevent disease of severity sufficient to cause school absence."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by PLOS. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

PLOS. "Hand sanitizers in classrooms do not reduce school absences in children." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140812163525.htm>.
PLOS. (2014, August 12). Hand sanitizers in classrooms do not reduce school absences in children. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140812163525.htm
PLOS. "Hand sanitizers in classrooms do not reduce school absences in children." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140812163525.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Who Will Failed Nuclear Talks Hurt Most?

Who Will Failed Nuclear Talks Hurt Most?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) With no immediate prospect of sanctions relief for Iran, and no solid progress in negotiations with the West over the country's nuclear programme, Ciara Lee asks why talks have still not produced results and what a resolution would mean for both parties. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
FCC Forces T-Mobile To Alert Customers Of Data Throttling

FCC Forces T-Mobile To Alert Customers Of Data Throttling

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) T-Mobile and the FCC have reached an agreement requiring the company to alert customers when it throttles their data speeds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Symantec Uncovers Sophisticated Spying Malware Regin

Symantec Uncovers Sophisticated Spying Malware Regin

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) A Symantec white paper reveals details about Regin, a spying malware of unusual complexity which is believed to be state-sponsored. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins