Hand washing vs. Hand sanitizer

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(WTHR) — It's no surprise that kids pick up germs everywhere they go.

And, a new study shows that hand sanitizer might actually be better than regular hand soap at keeping your kids germ-free.

The study followed nearly 1,000 kids under the age of three and they were split into different groups.

One group was taught proper hand washing, while a second group did their normal hand washing without any help and a third group used hand sanitizer.

Turns out, the group who used the hand sanitizer had 23 percent fewer respiratory infections that the other two.

But, doctors say this is likely because children aren't very skilled when it comes to washing their hands.

"Children in this population, they probably just don't wash their hands very well. It's much more complicated situation to put soap on your hands, wring it under the water if you're doing it for 20 seconds, as opposed to a squirt of alcohol sanitizer and rub, rub, rub and you're done," explained Dr. Frank Esper with Cleveland Clinic.

Doctors also say the most important takeaway from the study is making sure your kids know how to properly wash their hands to stay germ-free.

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