You're A Germaphobe If You regularly beg your child to "just hold it" so you can avoid having her use a communal commode.
The Dirt Studies show that toilet flushers, door handles, and locks can be the most infectious parts of a public restroom because people haven't washed their hands before leaving the stall. Similarly, faucets can also contain traces of fecal bacteria. If your child puts her hand in her mouth after touching anything that's been contaminated with E. coli, she could end up with a stomach bug.
Stay-Healthy Strategy Use your togetherness in the stall as a teaching moment, advises Will Sawyer, M.D., a family physician in Cincinnati and founder of the Henry the Hand Foundation, which promotes hand hygiene. "Start by encouraging your child not to flush with her hands," says Dr. Sawyer. You can teach her to cover the toilet handle with a piece of toilet paper or, if she's tall and coordinated enough, to flush using her foot. Demonstrate how to lock and unlock the stall door with your elbow or a piece of toilet paper. Before you wash up, grab a paper towel so that you don't touch a dirty dispenser afterward. Also use a paper towel to open the bathroom door when you're leaving, to limit contact with germs left behind by those who don't wash their hands, which is one out of every three people, estimates the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).