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From New York, USA:

My child's school sometimes uses antibacterial hand sanitizer to wash my child's hands. Do you think this sanitizer affects the accuracy of the blood sugar? I know soap and water is the best, but it is not always used at school and I don't know how to tell our school nurse tactfully that the sanitizer is not the best option.


My recommendation to you would be to call the toll free number for the blood glucose meter that your child uses and see if the particular hand sanitizer has been tested and approved. The accuracy of the glucose result can be affected if the finger has not dried and there is still alcohol and liquid on the finger prior to doing the blood glucose check. The other question is: what is the effect of the residue left on the finger from the hand sanitizer after the liquid has evaporated? Regardless of the method, remember that it is always important to make sure the skin is dry before doing a blood glucose check.

I would suggest talking to the school about the importance of accurate blood glucose results for your child's diabetes care and providing them the written instructions from the manufacturer. If your meter manufacturer cannot approve the use of the hand sanitizer, then let the school know that washing is the recommendation. Schools need to have sinks for hand washing in general, so, unless they are away from the school setting, washing would be available.

Best wishes to you, as diabetes care in the school is so important and the respectful mutual relationships between the family and the school are critical for success.


Original posting 16 Feb 2007
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:12
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