Got Germs?

Learn which of your kids' favorite spots have the most germs.

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-Where do you think your kids come in contact with more germs? In a public bathroom or at a playground? Well, the answer may surprise you. And Parents Magazine health and psychology editor Diane Debrovner joins us now to tell us where the biggest germ zones are and how we can protect our kids. Thank you so much for coming in. -Sure. My pleasure. -Now, Parents Magazine published some research that uncovered where's some of the germiest zones are the parents need to watch out for. Playground was at the top of that list. Playgrounds or public restrooms, what's worse? -Amazingly, playgrounds are worse. -Uh! -It's a sad news for parents, but the reality is when was the last time you saw someone out there cleaning your local playground? -Never. -Bathrooms, you know, you think about having, you know, a lot of germs in it, but they get disinfected really regularly and playgrounds really rarely, if ever, get cleaned. And germs, bacterias, and viruses can live on jungle gyms, and slides, and swings for a surprising and long amount of time. So, you know, your kids really are out there in the trenches with all [unk] germs. -So now, I wanna bring my antibacterial wipes and kinda wipe down the jungle gym, but you can't do that. So, what do you do? -You really just wanna have some sort of antibacterial cleanser in your purse so that you can wash your child's hands on the way out. If there's a restroom at the playground, obviously you could, you know, wash your hands there, but that's really your best bet. And stay away from the sandbox if you have the option. You can steer your child away because animals that live outside, squirrels, and birds can tend to do their business in the sand and spread bacteria that you really don't want your child exposed to. It's sometimes hard, bu if you-- if you can do that, sandboxes are not the cleanest. -Have a sandbox at home that you can cover over. -Cover up, absolutely. -Water fountains, breeding grounds for germs? -Kids tend to put their fingers and their mouth on the spigot. So, I would teach your child to try to just-- obviously keep their own fingers and mouth off of the actual metal, but turns the spigot on and let it run for a few seconds to sort of help flush out any germs that are there. It's not 100% foolproof that that will help. -And this research actually found that water fountains are dirtier than public toilet seats? -It's really kinda scary. -That's so frightening. -Okay, bottled water. -Yeah. -Right? From now on. -And your own refillable bottle. That would be great. -Now, we all know that shopping cart handles can be dirty in the grocery store, but a lot of bacteria can actually be living on there. -Well, not only do shoppers and supermarket workers touch the handles all the time, but believe it or not, if you have raw meat or chicken that is around-- -Right. -the shopping cart and it drips, you can get bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli dripping on to your shopping carts. So, that's a classic place where you wanna have an antibacterial wipe in your purse or your diaper bag and just do a quick wipe. I mean-- And if you have cloth shopping cart cover, which a lot of families do have, make sure to wash it in your washing machine and dryer and hot water at home frequently because germs can build up on that and sometimes you don't realize that they can be living right on your own cover. -Okay. Public high chairs, germs festering there right? -Same thing. Chances are that the last time, you know, the last toddler who used that chair might have smeared his hands and different things on it and it was not cleaned since, you know, the last-- since the last-- So, you wanna do the same thing. Wipe it down with a wipe. -Okay. School computer keyboards. This is a real germ fest. -They have done research that showed that computer keyboards have more germs than doorknobs in the school. -Oh. -And that's because, again, no one is cleaning them and there's not a lot of great advice other than to tell your child to avoid touching his or her hands to his/her mouth, nose, or eyes. That's really the major way that germs get into your body and sort of one the best tips you can give your child to help him stay healthy throughout his entire life is to just keep his hands away from his face. That's the way pediatricians and other doctors stay healthy amazingly that they see so many kids who are sick. You just keep your hands aaway. -All right. Diane Debrovner, thank you so much for stopping by and giving us the 411 on the germy zones. I wanna go wash my hands right now. Thank you so much. -You're welcome. -Thank you for watching Parents TV, our families our lives.