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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Hand sanitisers may not be as good as soap and water for your child

Turns out, hand sanitisers, especially with an alcohol content less than 60 per cent are not that effective. Washing hands with soap and water, on the other hand, is more effective.

By: Parenting Desk |
Updated: April 25, 2019 9:57:06 am
hand sanitiser Hand sanitiser may not clean your child’s palms that well. (Source: Thinkstock Images)

Do you make sure your child washes his or her palms with a hand sanitiser? It may not be that effective in keeping your child away from germs.

Turns out, hand sanitisers, especially with an alcohol content less than 60 per cent is not that good at sanitising hands. Washing hands with soap and water, on the other hand, is more effective. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Many studies have found that sanitisers with an alcohol concentration between 60-95 per cent are more effective at killing germs than those with a lower alcohol concentration or non-alcohol-based hand sanitisers. Although alcohol-based hand sanitisers can inactivate many types of microbes very effectively when used correctly, soap and water are more effective than hand sanitisers.”

Hand sanitiser does not remove all germs

Your child’s hands may not be completely clean even after washing with an alcohol-based sanitiser. That’s because some bacteria are becoming more tolerant to the alcohol, a research, published by Science Translational Medicine in 2018, revealed. So, the bacteria is able to survive for longer periods of time.

Also Read: Adopt these hygienic habits for better baby care

Hand sanitiser is not effective for soiled hands

Children, especially toddlers, get their hands soiled while playing. Alcohol-based hand sanitisers can reduce the number of microbes on the hands but cannot eliminate all germs. So, according to CDC, “when hands are heavily soiled or greasy, hand sanitisers may not work well.”

Children should ideally be taught to clean their hands using soap and water. Here are the steps your child needs to follow for washing the hands with soap.

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