6 Germ Hot-Spots -- and How to Deal With Them

The Baseball Or Soccer Field

You're A Germaphobe If You're contemplating signing your son up for chess club instead because watching him high-five the dirty paws of the opposing team is more than you can bear.

The Dirt When your child touches other kids after the game and then slurps on an orange wedge, he deposits not only his own germs but those of his teammates and opponents directly into his mouth. "Hand-to-hand contact is the number-one way viruses are spread," says Dr. Rotbart, author of Germ Proof Your Kids. If your child shakes hands with someone who has a virus and puts his infected fingertips into his eyes, nose, or mouth -- boom! -- he's got a one-way ticket to Funkytown.

Stay-Healthy Strategy "When you can't get to soap and water, alcohol-based hand sanitizer is an effective alternative," says Dr. Rotbart. Stand at the end of the congratulations line and give your kid a nickel-size squirt of alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and hey, why not share with the whole team? You might feel a bit neurotic, but there really aren't any better (or more subtle) options. Remind your child to distribute the gel onto his palms and work it between his fingers. When your athlete gets older, stash a bottle in his sports bag. (In the meantime, push for congratulatory fist bumping. After all, we rarely touch our eyes, nose, or mouth with the back of our hands.)

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