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Where kids find the most germs

Posted by on Mar. 5, 2013 at 3:07 PM
  • 26 Replies

 Kids being kids, they will find germs anywhere they can. My son is like a germ detective. I swear he lays awake at night thinking of disgusting things he can do to freak me out.

Last week he brought a bathroom plunger into my kitchen. I shrieked so loudly, it may as well have been a dinosaur.

WebMD has compiled a list of the dirtiest places your kids can find easily. Find any that you hadnt thought about?

by on Mar. 5, 2013 at 3:07 PM
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Replies (1-10):
new_mom808
by Andrea on Mar. 5, 2013 at 3:08 PM

The toothbrush holder was named the third-germiest spot in the home in a 2011 study. Flushing a toilet that's near a toothbrush holder exposes it to a plume of contaminated water droplets. To clean, run it through the dishwasher's high-temperature cycle or wash weekly in hot water and follow with a disinfecting wipe.

 

new_mom808
by Andrea on Mar. 5, 2013 at 3:09 PM

 

Pets and kids are natural buddies. But pets can transmit bacteria, viruses, and parasites to kids through their waste, saliva, or dander. Pet toys and bowls can be a source of coliform -- a family of bacteria that includes salmonella and E. coli. Kids should always wash their hands after touching pets or pet toys, dishes, or food. And, yes, avoid pet kisses.

new_mom808
by Andrea on Mar. 5, 2013 at 3:11 PM

Backyards

Exposure to bacteria in dirt is good for kids, experts say. But beware of some hazards. Don't let kids play in a yard with animal droppings. Make sure your child's DTaP and Tdap booster vaccines are up to date so any cuts or scrapes are protected from tetanus

new_mom808
by Andrea on Mar. 5, 2013 at 3:16 PM

 

Refrigerators

Open condiments, a leaky meat package, spoiled milk -- plenty of nasty things can await kids in the refrigerator. Salmonella, campylobacter, and norovirus, which can cause upset stomach and diarrhea, are common kitchen bacteria and viruses. To avoid contamination, properly store food that goes bad easily. Wash and disinfect refrigerator walls and shelves.

new_mom808
by Andrea on Mar. 5, 2013 at 3:16 PM

Animal Environments

Petting zoos, educational farms, and school exhibits where kids can get close to animals are great places to learn. They’re also places for bacteria to spread. Young children are especially at risk. Kids should never take food, drinks, baby bottles, pacifiers, or toys into animal areas. They should wash their hands after touching animals, too.

 

new_mom808
by Andrea on Mar. 5, 2013 at 3:17 PM

 

Floors

With food spills, grease, and human and pet traffic, kitchen floors can be filthy places to play. But other floors can be dirty, too. Carpet and hard floors may be covered in dust mites, mold, food particles, outside dirt, and even bits of insects. These can trigger allergies and asthma attacks. Fungi that cause athlete's foot and ringworm also can lurk.

new_mom808
by Andrea on Mar. 5, 2013 at 3:18 PM

 

Standing Water

A pool of standing water is a tempting place to play -- whether it's a pond, a bucket of rainwater under a leaky roof, or a puddle in a tire swing after a storm. It's also a breeding ground for mold, mildew, bacteria, and insects such as mosquitoes, which can transmit West Nile virus and other diseases

new_mom808
by Andrea on Mar. 5, 2013 at 3:20 PM

 

Germs at School

A 2006 study in two Michigan schools found about 800 times more germs on classroom water fountains than on toilet seats. Plastic cafeteria trays were another hot spot. But another study found that grade-schoolers’ absences for illness were cut in half when children used hand sanitizers and when areas such as desktops were disinfected daily.

new_mom808
by Andrea on Mar. 5, 2013 at 3:20 PM

 

In the Coatroom

Children in school or day care are the most common carriers of head lice in the U.S. -- usually through head-to-head contact. Less often, head lice are spread through sharing hats, combs, brushes, or clothing. As a precaution, some schools assign cloakroom hooks and cubbies and have children store hats in their coat pockets or sleeves.

new_mom808
by Andrea on Mar. 5, 2013 at 3:21 PM

 

Play Spots and Gyms

Schools and day care centers, especially those with sports or playground facilities and equipment, are hot spots for the spread of bacteria such as MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). Staph bacteria enter the body through uncovered cuts and open wounds. Sharing towels and playing contact sports such as wrestling are other ways it spreads.

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