Alcohol Based Hand Sanitizers Fact Sheet

Information for schools and parents

Careful hand washing with soap and water is the recommended method to keep hands clean and free of bacteria. If soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly soiled, the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers (ABHS) offers a convenient, effective and fast way to reduce the spread of germs. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends using an ABHS with a concentration of 60% or higher to be effective against common diseases.

To use an Alcohol Based Hand Sanitizer

  • Encourage hand washing with soap and water or using ABHS before eating, after toileting, sneezing or coughing or whenever hands are soiled.
  • Apply a dime sized amount of the product to the palm of your hand.
  • Rub hands together, covering all surfaces of your hands until your hands are dry.

“Things to Know”

  • Alcohol based hand sanitizers (ABHS) significantly reduce the number of germs on skin.
  • To be effective, alcohol based hand sanitizers are ethyl alcohol based
  • Alcohol can be absorbed when ingested or applied to the skin. Children should be supervised when using hand sanitizers. ABHS dispensers should be located in areas where children are supervised. (Dispensers are not permitted in hallways). ABHS should not be ingested.
  • Discourage fingernail biting and touching of the eyes, nose and mouth, especially when sanitizer is wet.

Keeping our hands clean is one of the most important things we can do to keep from getting sick and from spreading germs to others.

Created by the NY Statewide School Health Services Center
New York Statewide School Health Services Center
(585) 349-7632