For hand sanitizer, the CDC suggests applying product to one hand and rubbing it all over surfaces of hands and fingers until they’re dry. The CDC notes that “hand sanitizers are not as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy,”

“There is a place for alcohol hand sanitizers, and the public may not be aware of how effective they can be,” Haas said. “I think people still think of them as ‘if you can’t get to a sink, this is second best,’ but in this study, it showed that it was better than the soap and water hand-washing for this group.”

Although the research was conducted in Spain, Haas believes that the findings are applicable in other locations, as most developed countries face the same issues in regard to the spreading of germs.

However, regardless of all the benefits of hand sanitizer, both Haas and Goldmann noted that safety needs to be considered when using it around children this young.

“They have to be used with supervision,” Haas said, “because the caveat here is that you can’t have little kids putting that in their mouth and possibly getting alcohol intoxication.”