PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – You want to reduce the incidence of infection in schools. And, according to a study in the American Journal of Infection Control, there is a good way to make it happen.

A three-month program was designed to reduce student absenteeism and was based on asking students to wash their hands more often. Two elementary schools were measured. In one school, students were given a lesson in the importance of hand washing and they were told to disinfect their hands using antibacterial soap three times during the school day. The others were left alone.

After three months, the children in the hand sanitizing school had a 66% decrease in students with four or more missed days of school. Twenty percent of the children in the school had no absences at all.

It is the same advice we give you over and over again in the hospital. The best way to reduce infection is to wash your hands.

Reported By Dr. Brian McDonough, KYW Newsradio Medical Editor

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