Study Finds Children are More Likely to Wash Hands When Someone is Watching

Dr. Michael Gabriel of GPM Pediatrics, a New York-based pediatric center, comments on an article that says children are more likely to wash their hands when someone is around or watching. This new study could prove to be useful in reducing the amount of infectious diseases contracted by children.

According to the article published by U.S. Health News, researchers from Stanford University observed children in Kenya of their handwashing habits. The study focused on four different public schools in Kenya and observed both boys and girls. Researchers hope that this study will encourage schools to be more aware of hand-washing and prevent the spread of diseases which are common in developing nations like Kenya.

Observers found that girls wash their hands approximately 4 percent more than boys in addition to finding that soap and water took a longer and more thorough cleaning than anti-bacterial gel. Another alarming statistic found that students cleaned their hands 48 percent of the time when alone compared to 71 percent when another person is present.

Gabriel responds to this research by saying "This is great research done because many times we assume hands are being washed when in fact they are not and that is one of the causes of the spreading of diseases." Gabriel explains, "Developing and third-world countries don't have the access to hand-cleaning supplies like we do in the U.S. It is important for everyone to realize the importance of washing hands, especially children."

Gabriel says that this research can even be applied to children in the United States. "This gives us a raw perspective on how students everywhere wash their hands. We need to promote hygiene to our children especially as kids are increasingly working in teams at school." Gabriel stresses to parents to teach their kids about hand-washing and praises researchers for their work in third-world countries.

Source: GPM Pediatrics