B-roll: Handy guide to flu-fighting hand sanitizer
New international study finds kids who use hand sanitizer are sick less often
Some germs can last only a few hours on some surfaces; some can last a few days


PHOENIX (Oct. 8, 2018) – In the fight against the flu, good hand hygiene is one of your most important weapons, says Banner Health infection-prevention experts.

A study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics found that young children who cleaned their hands with sanitizer instead of soap and water reduced their missed days of school, respiratory infections and antibiotic prescriptions.

“It’s really important to practice good hand hygiene before eating, after using the restroom, after touching shopping carts and door handles,’’ said Joan Ivaska, senior director of Infection Prevention at Banner Health. In her role, Ivaska oversees infection-prevention work at Banner’s hospitals and healthcare facilities in six states.

“Some germs can last only a few hours on some surfaces; some can last a few days,’’ she said.

B-roll available: Ivaska speaking about hand sanitizers

While Banner infection-prevention experts say more study is needed about the use of hand sanitizers, they offer these tips when it comes to using these soap-and-water substitutes:

  • Select hand sanitizers with an alcohol content higher than 60 percent.

  • Use enough hand sanitizer.  Apply a dime-size amount to the palm of one hand and then rub your hands together, covering all surfaces of both hands, including between your fingers and up around your fingertips and nails. It should take about 30 seconds of rubbing your hands together for the product to completely dry. Do not touch food or anything else until your hands are dry.

Banner Health infection-prevention experts are available to speak about the flu, prevention and treatments.