Impact of a Multifactorial Program of Hand Hygiene on Infections in Children Attending in Day-care Centres

2017-09-28 04:38:22 | BioPortfolio


It is well known that attending Day Care Centres (DCCs) can lead to an increase in the frequency of infections, due to the high incidence at this age and also the ease of transmission among children. This high incidence respiratory tract infections (RTIs) and acute gastroenteritis can also have a significant impact on the cost of health care systems, increasing the number of medical visits, hospitalizations and prescribing medications as symptomatic drugs or unnecessary antibiotics in some cases.The aim of the study was to determine whether a multifactorial hand-hygiene program (handwashing with soap and water vs hand sanitizer vs control group) reduce episodes due to RTIs and gastroenteritis in children attending DCCs. In addition, analyze the cost-effectiveness of these interventions.


A randomized, controlled, and open study of 3 cohorts of families with children attending to DCCs, between the ages of 0 and 3, attending 25 DCC (911 children) in Almeria (Spain) was designed. This study was carried out over the course of 8 months (November 2013 to June 2014). A group of DCCs/families will perform hand hygiene with soap and water (SWG), another group with hand sanitizer gel (HSG) and a control group (CG) practiced usual handwashing techniques.

Intervention: The families and DCCs staff randomly assigned to HSG and SWG attended handwashing workshops of 2-hour duration. These took place one month before the beginning of the study. Workshop content included education about the most frequent infections in DCCs, their transmission, prevention, treatment, instructions on how and when hands should be washed, use of hand sanitizers and possible side effects in the HSG. Every 2 weeks, the research assistant and the teachers (staff) performed activities such as stories, songs and posters in the classroom, which are linked to hand hygiene and infection's transmission. In the Children/families in the HSG and SWG were instructed by the researchers, teachers, and research assistant to maintain the usual handwashing procedure after going to the toilet and when their hands were visibly dirty. They also were told to use the hand sanitizer and handwashing with water and liquid soap correctly in the following circumstances: after coming into the classroom; before and after lunch; after playing outside; when they went home; and after coughing; sneezing; or blowing their noses; after diapering.

Parents of the three groups completed the survey on sociodemographic characteristics and questions about hand hygiene referred to when and how their children wash their hands. Progenitors of children whit episodes due to RTIs and gastroenteritis collected the symptoms and handed in the completed form to the teacher. A research assistant collected the absence sheets of the participating classes weekly, called the parents of absent children to enquire about the cause of their absence, visited the classrooms and collaborated with the teachers in activities related to the hygiene of hands.

Study Design


Respiratory Tract Infections


hand sanitizer, liquid soap




Fundación Pública Andaluza para la Investigación Biomédica Andalucía Oriental

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2017-09-28T04:38:22-0400

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