The Germiest Things Your Kids Touch
There are, surprisingly, worse things your child will touch than the toilet seat. Charles Gerba, PhD, professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, and his team conducted numerous studies on germs. Their conclusion: You'll want to thoroughly clean your child's hands after she comes in contact with the following.
Playground Equipment "Kids always have the most fecal bacteria on their hands when they return from the playground," Gerba says. In one study, 20 percent of playground equipment was infested with this contaminant.
Shopping Carts "These are worse than we ever dreamed of," Gerba says. "About 70 percent have fecal bacteria on them, largely because of kids sitting in those little seats that carts have."
High Chairs Out of 30 restaurant high chairs, 17 percent were contaminated with E. coli and 10 percent with methicillin-resistant staph.
Restaurant Tables "Cleaning" a table can actually make it dirtier. In an analysis of 10 restaurants, tabletops had 45 times more bacteria, including E. coli, on them after they'd been wiped: Towels used to sponge off tables aren't always thoroughly clean.
Elevator Buttons "The first-floor button is always the germiest because everybody has to touch it to get out," Gerba says.
Phones In homes with sick kids, 80 percent of phones were contaminated with the flu virus.
Originally published in the September 2008 issue of American Baby magazine.
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