Saturday, July 2, 2011

Restaurant high chairs dirtier than toilet seat!


We all know that there are germs everywhere we go but how harmful are they and what should we do about it?

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.


Image source: Dream Design

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33 comments:

  1. This is so true and disgusting! I can't believe MRSA was found in 10% of the chairs!!! Great post!

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  2. Hi Haylie! Thank you for the comment and for following me!

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  3. Wow. Thanks for this information. It makes us know how to protect our children and from what. Good to know. And thanks for following me on Twitter!

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  4. Yep, that's disgusting. There is an essential oil called On Guard that kills MRSA. They did different studies in petri dishes with MRSA. The ON Guard killed the MRSA every time. This way you can kill the germs naturally and not have to worry about the chemicals in the wipes or any other disinfectant. Just thought I'd share. I love the oils and what they do for a healthy family. :-)

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  5. Thanks for the info! I'm now visiting your blog to read more about it!

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  6. Wow! Very informative post and great advice to young mommies out there! Stopping by from Blog Frog and following :)

    All the best with your new blog and I look forward to the fellowship!

    Marisa http://www.meyouandcreamedcorn.com/

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  7. I haven't gotten here yet with baby Max, but using a high chair at restaurants is coming soon. Thanks so much for pointing this out. Sometimes we overlook what should be "the obvious".

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  8. @Milk and Whimsy You are more than welcome! I'm glad to know you find this post helpful!
    @Marisa and Brittany Thanks for your comment and I am following you back!
    @Mother Baby Child you are more than welcome. I am glad to know that my post is helping you somehow. I'm following you back!

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  9. Ick! I'm glad we're beyond high chairs now! I'm a new follower from the MomdayMonday blog hop!

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  10. Dirty high chairs? You dont know how many times I cleaned the table I was sitting at....While we cant live in a bubble....we can bring wipes....I use them always...

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  11. I'm a public school teacher (as is my husband) and I see germs as a standard occupational hazard. Honeslty, I'm not nearly as concerned about germs as the average mom. I honestly don't fear the germs because they're going to get sick anyway - husband and I bring it home on our bodies, our clothes, our bags, etc. We'd have to shower and change before touching our children every afternoon! That's just not happening. And our children are very seldom sick.

    Is disinfection really that necessary? I mean, washing hands regularly throughout the day is important, as is wiping down counters and such w/ germ-killing wipes, but I don't feel the need to hold up everybody in a restaurant so I can wipe down the table and high chair myself. Feeling negligent...

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  12. Hi Magella! I read about this topic I thought I should share with other moms.
    I know it is not convenient to wipe down high chairs when you go to a restaurant, but according to the professor mentioned on the post, it was found Ecoli and MRSA on them. It is hard for me now not to do wipe them down after knowing that.
    You shouldn't feel negligent, you are just doing what you feel is right for you and your family!

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  13. Thank you for your comment! I will be your constant reader.

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  14. Thanks for sharing! I knew they were nasty, but I had no idea they were this filthy! We bought a portable high chair and take it to restaurants with us. It's small and really useful. It straps to any chair. We use it at home too. If you don't have one use alcohol wipes, not baby wipes--straight alcohol. If it's good enough for surgery prep, it's good enough for me. I posted this on my blog, Chaton's World at http://chatonsworld.blogspot.com. I am following you too.

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  15. I found you on lady bloggers. I love ur site and am following. Please follow me http://inspiringisabella.blogspot.com/

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  16. It's amazing how many things we have to watch these days. I love the quote: "Teach your child not to touch his mouth..." That is easier than it sounds!

    I'm a new follower... found you on Mom Loop. I look forward to reading more!

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  17. Way to burst my bubble EMB, I've been enjoying one less thing in my diaper bag but now that I know, I'll have to - at the very least - wipe down the tray and side rails. Yeesh.

    I'm being entirely facetious in case anyone missed it. Seriously EMB, I'm not normally very worried about germs (I'm more of a whatever-doesn't-kill-them-makes-them-stronger kind of mama) but I am pretty grossed out by the restaurant high chair and will certainly want to give it a wipe from now on, thanks for the info!

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  18. This stuff makes me cringe! I feel like I have to wash the high chair cover the instant we get home and throw all the toys that dropped on the floor into the dishwasher! LOL!

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  19. Very well written, and good information. This stuff really makes me sick to my stomach, and although my kids are now all grown, I have 2 grandbabies being born this year, so bring it on all over again.

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  20. The worst I've seen - hospitals. It's supposed to be about your HEALTH, right? My Dad was recently in the hospital (3 surgeries within 30 days)... I can tell you that the hospital staff does NOT clean. We brought Clorox wipes and cleaned the rooms ourselves, because I couldn't stand it any longer. Yuck! Wipes need to be a common thing in a purse, because these days, people just don't care enough.

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  21. Ive Never been so happy to not have kids.....thats gross and I may never eat out again. UGH!!!!!!

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  22. I'm thankful (and horrified) to read this...
    Thank you for sharing with NOBH...
    ~Kara @ The Chuppies/NOBH

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  23. Thanks for stopping by my blog and following! I am following you back!! Good info on your blog, totally gross stuff, but I'd rather know than be in the dark. I always carry wipes and sanitizer!!!

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  24. Oh my! That's scary! Thank you for sharing...I'm happy that my son is not using high chairs now. But I did remember, that I used to be a bit of germ patrol too. Putting alcohol and all. Oh but you can never be too sure. Thanks again for this.

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  25. Those restaurant chairs always looked suspicious! Note to self: must carry more dinsinfectant wipes.

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  26. Moms also need to keep their hands sanitized! I've seen many mothers get sick after visiting a doctor's office. Also make sure to wipe down all electronics like laptops, smart phones and video game consoles. Those can go uncleaned for years.

    Beware of plastic covered menus. Those are NEVER cleaned.

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  27. I keep sani-wipes in my purse at all times! I wipe down grocery carts, tables in restaurants, high chairs, toilet seats and door handles in public bathrooms, toys anywhere we go...I'm a sanitizing freak!

    Following you from Blog Frog!

    www.brewingdaily.blogspot.com

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  28. yuck - I always hated using booster seats and high chairs because you know they aren't cleaned well.
    This post reminds me of that story done on the shopping carts at stores.

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  29. Thank you for all comments and tips!

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  30. Oh my gosh, that's so gross. I'm so glad my kids are older now. Well by older I mean big little kids. It's not surprising though, the sticky "wood" the stiff buckles. Stiff buckles made stiff my thoughts I don't want to even think about!
    I'm a friend from vB!

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    1. That is really gross. I just couldn't believe it when I read about it. I had to share!

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  31. Thanks for this! I know I look like a lunatic but since my 16 month old son was sick twice at the beginning of the winter I disinfect everything he touches then I always clean his hands when we leave. Thanks for this article. It just confirms what i have been doing. Saw you on MNB.com!

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    1. I'm also always telling my daughter to wash her hands and I always have hand sanitizer with me!

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