According to a recent study done by NSF International, kids in grades K-5 are more likely to do their homework than they are to wash their hands with soap. Five hundred elementary school teachers were surveyed for the study and nearly half (42 percent) said that it is more difficult to get students to wash their hands than it is to get them to do their homework, even though nearly all teachers (98 percent) talk to their students about hand washing.

The results, published in the Asheville Citizen-Times, were less than ideal when it comes to the fight against the spread of germs. According to experts, hand washing is the easiest and most important thing that can be done to prevent the spread of illness.

Additional results from the study include:
• Thirty-nine percent of 4-5th grade teachers and 34 percent of 2nd-3rd grade teachers say students are guilty of multiple bad hand washing habits - such as not washing before eating or after using the restroom - compared to 29 percent of K-1st grade teachers
• Eighty-four percent of teachers say parents send sick children to school simply because they are unable to stay at home
• Eighty-six percent of teachers clean classrooms themselves to supplement janitorial services in schools
• Eighty percent of teachers reported using hand sanitizing gels to help clean kids' hands
• Fourteen percent of teachers identified the drinking fountain as one of the germiest surfaces in the school

To read additional details from this study, as well as some solutions to help kids improve hand washing, click here.