The first thing to come to mind when thinking about germs, is public restrooms. Surprisingly, there are places more infected with harmful germs than public restrooms. According to Dr. Kelly Reynolds, an associate professor at the University of Arizona College of Public Health in Tucson, "Restrooms tend to get disinfected often". On the other hand, playgrounds, doctor's waiting rooms and restaurant high chairs are not disinfected as often as they should.
Every time I take my daughter to the park I see at least 2 or 3 sick kids (coughing and/or runny nose) playing there and the kids are sharing toys and touching everything (all kids do) spreading their germs to others. Have you ever seen someone disinfecting the playground equipment? I haven't and according to Dr. Reynolds "Playground equipment almost never gets cleaned"
Recommendation: Teach your child not to touch his mouth while at the park and always clean their hands with disinfectant wipes or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Doctor's waiting rooms are very often filled with sick kids and even tough it may look clean, it's not. The kids are always playing with the toys, touching the chairs, door knobs, books, magazines,.... and once again, spreading their germs. Most offices have their waiting rooms cleaned by the end of the day or in the morning before opening, but never during business hours. According to Charles Gerba, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, waiting rooms of pediatricians' offices are second only to restrooms regarding germs. "It makes sense when you think about why all the kids are there". "Pediatricians are not versed in public health and sanitation", he says.
Recommendation: Bring your own toys and always disinfect your child's hand when you leave the office.
According to the University of Arizona, when they swabbed high chairs they found bacteria counts much higher than those the average public toilet seat. "Coliform bacteria, which are usually associated with fecal matter, we found on over half the high chairs. And on about one in five of the high chairs we found Ecoli which definitely come from fecal material. And in about 10 percent of the high chairs we found MRSA." says Gerba. Most restaurants don't clean the high chairs and even the ones that do it, don't do it right. "We've found that the cloths that they wipe up in the restaurants-almost half of them contained Ecoli, believe it or not". He says, "You just think about a kid in a high chair, how many times he's putting his fingers to his nose, mouth or putting some object into his mouth. That's more than once a minute."
Recommendation: Always disinfect the high chairs with disinfectant wipes and wipe your child's hand clean before and after the meal. You can also use a clean seat cover and wipe hands clean.
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