5 Surprising Germ Spots In Your Child’s World
As hard as we try to sanitize and disinfect everything in our home, our little ragamuffins always seem to catch some type of germy flu or nasty infection.
“Often times our perspective of dirty places is very different than where our children actually spend their time,” said Billy Kutivan, founding member of Protekt Worldwide, “Children are on the ground and touch surfaces that adults are not naturally thinking about. These are the surfaces that need maintenance in order to provide a healthy environment for our children in the home.”
Our children also handle tools of their day such as backpacks, lunch boxes and tablets.
“It’s amazing how many of us sanitize our hands throughout the day but forget to clean our devices regularly,” said Tracy Nailor, MD, MPH, a Pediatric Urgent Care Physician at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta “Our children use our cellphones, tablets and laptops, which carry an astonishingly high number of germs on their surfaces and effectively negate great hand hygiene.”
To help your kids catch less colds, flus or other nasty infections, keep an eye out for these lesser-known germ hot spots.
1. The car seat
An old piece of cheese, a cheerio, an old dirty sock or residue from an unseen bodily mishap, these are many of the things that gets trapped in our children’s car seats. We don’t usually think of these things as illness-inducing scenarios but bacteria are quickly cultivated in these types of breeding grounds.
According to one study from the University of Birmingham in England, they found that the typical child’s safety seat could be harboring more germs than the toilet seat in your house, including the norovirus, E. coli, salmonella, and cold and flu germs.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for do’s and don’ts in cleaning your particular model of car seat. Safety experts claim that submerging the straps in water or exposing the straps to chemicals that deteriorate material such as bleach can compromise the effectiveness of the equipment in the event of vehicle collision.
Instead, use a cleaning product that can do the job without compromising the equipment. A product that won’t leave behind toxic chemicals that may adversely react with skin during extended use. A product that is gentle and possibly possesses long term proactive cleaning qualities.
2. Pet toys and food bowls
I personally like to play fetch with Fido but I also know to wash the slobber off my hands before I cross contaminate anything with it.
According to a study conducted by the National Sanitation Foundation, pet bowls were the fourth most germ-filled spots in our homes, containing illness-inducing bacteria like salmonella and E. coli.
Our children don’t know better and they play down there. I won’t go into the diatribe of how infectious a family pet’s bite can be if they break human skin with their teeth. All I will say is that Fido’s toys, as well as his food and water bowls may include one or all of the following, yeast, mold, mildew, Staphylococcus (Staph) or any bacteria responsible for a variety of skin diseases.
Never use a bleach solution on your animals toys or bowl. Wash hard toys and utensils in the sink using a probiotic dish soap (Available Late Summer 2020) or use a probiotic laundry detergent (Available Late Summer 2020) for soft machine washable toys.
3. Backpacks and lunch boxes
Homework and empty containers aren’t the only things making it back in your child’s backpack and lunch boxes at the end of the school day. Lunch boxes and book bags pick up germs from all sorts of communal places they are dragged across during the course of their day. These germs mostly cause bacterial and viral infections. Thanks to improper food storage techniques, lunch boxes in hot cars and the lack of proper cleaning turn these items into prime bacterial rich petri dishes.
Backpacks are not only very contaminated especially on the side that makes contact with the surface the most, they are also teaming with bacteria feasting on rouge food crumbs on the inside.
4. Sports equipment & gym bags
Sweaty sports equipment tossed into a bag and thrown into a car trunk is already covered in more germs than you might think, and some can cause serious illness. Equipment shared by other children or dragged across gym floors, bathrooms and locker rooms can contain athlete’s foot and ringworm fungus. They can also harbor the virus that causes plantar warts, as well as Staph and cold and flu bugs. Sweaty gym clothes left in gym bags also become breeding grounds for both mold and fungus if they aren’t cleaned. Sweat is a collection of protein and other yummy digestibles that bacteria and fungus love to feed on. Mix that with heat while locked in a dark bag and you now have the perfect breeding ground for all that stuff mentioned above.
Cleaning sports equipment is time consuming and each piece of equipment can have very specific cleaning instructions. Using a probiotic infused product either as an all purpose cleaner or nothing more than a spray is a great way for long term healthy results. Always follow the manufacturers recommendations first.
And don’t forget to spray those stinky shoes, too.
5. Your cell phone or tablet
We as parents know all too well how much our little ones like to grab those glowing screens and stick them straight into their mouths or at least stick their hands in their mouths.
According to research, our smartphones and tablets can harbor even more germs than a toilet seat.
If you haven’t read the article, “My Cell Phone Has More Than 1,000,000 Germs Living On It Right Now“, then know this; Our phones and tablets end up sitting on dirty surfaces, in public restrooms and in cluttered bags which causes them to be very dirty in the respect of germ contamination.
Cleaning a cell phone or tablet that a child plays with is more involved than most people think of because whatever solution you use on your phone will soon get ingested by your child as soon as the tablet, phone or their hands goes into their mouth.
A food grade, vegan, probiotic cleaner like the Kalos Misting Wand is your best bet.
Maintaining a clean mobile phone or tablet that your child handles will greatly increase their health and the rest of the family.
Practicing good hygiene—even for babies—is the best way to prevent the spread of germs, especially during covid-19 and flu season.