TUESDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Good knowledge of hand
hygiene among students reduces school absenteeism, researchers
The study included 324 elementary school students, aged 5 to 14,
in Denmark. The children were given a lesson in hand disinfection
theory and practice and told to disinfect their hands using ethanol
gel three times each school day.
During the three-month study, there was a 66 percent decrease in
students who were absent for four or more days and a 20 percent
increase in children with zero absences, compared to the previous
school year, the investigators found.
"Regular training in [hand washing] and [hand disinfection] would be a simple, low-cost action with very significant impact on reducing infectious illness absence periods among pupils," stated study author and infection preventionist Inge Nandrup-Bus, in a news release from the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.
The study is published in the August issue of the
American Journal of Infection Control.
The American Society for Microbiology has more about the
importance of hand washing.