Your Kids Play OUTSIDE? Obsessively Spritz them with Child Hand Sanitizer!

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Most nauseating pitch of the day (boldface mine):

Hello!

Ready or not…here I come! Little ones love all of the extra playtime that comes with summer; unfortunately, that also means there is more dirt and bacteria to keep at bay. California Baby’s Hand Sanitizer is the perfect product to have on hand– a quick spritz, and the lemon and lime essential oils will protect your children from any germs lurking on the playground. Keep it in your purse or diaper bag and continue with your fun uninterrupted by summer germs!
You know whose summer was interrupted by germs? Kids growing up before the Polio vaccine. Since we have vanquished that summer killjoy, I am not worried about playground germs and I am not interrupting anyone’s play to swipe and wipe. I don’t even believe in clean.
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There. I’ve said it. I believe in being outside and not spritzing anti-bacterial spray on anything, unless it’s a flesh wound. I almost believe that when your kid is at the playground, filthy, that’s when you WANT her to lick her hands.
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But since I don’t want to sound like a nut, I’ll shut up. (And lick my hands? You’ll never know! And by the way, I”m speaking at Town Hall in Seattle tonight, sponsored by ParentMap. If you come, say hi!) – L

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Did you touch that filthy slide? Let me wipe you down!

Don’t tell me you touched that filthy slide? Let me wipe you down! Next time, too! 

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63 Responses to Your Kids Play OUTSIDE? Obsessively Spritz them with Child Hand Sanitizer!

  1. marie April 19, 2016 at 4:05 pm #

    Say hi but think twice before shaking hands, lol.

  2. Papilio April 19, 2016 at 4:29 pm #

    Now I’m picturing you licking your hands in front of your Seattle audience…

    “Don’t tell me you touched that filthy slide? Let me wipe you down! Next time, too!” Why not do something (more) useful and just wipe down the slide instead?

  3. MichaelF April 19, 2016 at 4:32 pm #

    Just what we need more MERSA rather than more immunities

  4. Powers April 19, 2016 at 4:34 pm #

    Michael, don’t spread misinformation. Hand sanitizer generally doesn’t contain antibacterial agents like triclosan, so it doesn’t contribute to the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Most hand sanitizers use alcohol. Not sure whether this one uses alcohol or just the citrus oil, but I suspect the result is the same.

  5. lollipoplover April 19, 2016 at 4:39 pm #

    “Little ones love all of the extra playtime that comes with summer; unfortunately, that also means there is more dirt and bacteria to keep at bay.”

    Dirt has actually been proven to be GOOD for kids, especially for allergies, and bacteria/germs/viruses are more prevalent to spread in winter months, when kids are confined indoors, like at school. Ins summer, don’t fear the filthy slide, it’s the kid who sits next to mine that sneezes and coughs non-stop that’s the threat when indoors.

  6. Backroads April 19, 2016 at 5:19 pm #

    I can’t remember what my girls were doing the other week, but someone commented on the potential germs. I said “Oh, they’re just building up their immunity.”

    Meanwhile, I’m about ready to send a note home with my students to leave all the stupid glittery scented sanitizer keychain things home. The kids are obsessed with them. They interrupt class to sanitize. The hyper-obsessive one can’t concentrate if he doesn’t know where his is… worst trend ever.

  7. BL April 19, 2016 at 6:06 pm #

    @Power
    “Most hand sanitizers use alcohol. ”

    There we go, our kids are all going to be alcoholics. But at least they’ll be germ-free alcoholics.

  8. Papilio April 19, 2016 at 6:36 pm #

    @BL & @Powers
    ““Most hand sanitizers use alcohol. ”

    There we go, our kids are all going to be alcoholics. But at least they’ll be germ-free alcoholics.”

    So THAT’s why they’re licking their hands!

  9. Anna April 19, 2016 at 6:56 pm #

    I know this is a small matter, but as a former schoolteacher whose primary-grade colleagues made hand-sanitizer mandatory for their young pupils, and as a mother of a child with such severe eczema that his skin reacts to any kind of soap, let alone liberal applications of rubbing alcohol, I’m not looking forward to this aspect of the school system. Any opinions from teachers here: do I have even the tiniest hope in hell at convincing my son’s early-grade teachers that I object to him being slathered in hand-sanitizer?

  10. Nicole R. April 19, 2016 at 8:05 pm #

    “…as a mother of a child with such severe eczema that his skin reacts to any kind of soap, let alone liberal applications of rubbing alcohol, I’m not looking forward to this aspect of the school system. Any opinions from teachers here: do I have even the tiniest hope in hell at convincing my son’s early-grade teachers that I object to him being slathered in hand-sanitizer?”

    Absolutely! I would have NO problem with a parent asking me not to have their child to use it at school. Most of the teachers I know would just put a little note on their chart or sub file that he is supposed to avoid it. Next to all the allergies, etc., it won’t even be a blip.

  11. Backroads April 19, 2016 at 8:07 pm #

    Anna,

    I teach 2nd grade and yes, you can probably make a case just by mentioning in the skin condition. I don’t encourage hand sanitizer in my classroom–and yes, I have several kids who just can’t have it including one who is allergic. I teach proper handwashing as the ideal.

  12. SKL April 19, 2016 at 10:10 pm #

    I always say, dirt is our friend. 🙂

  13. PacMom April 20, 2016 at 12:02 am #

    My kids just earned some Summer Camp Money getting their hands dirty in the yard. Oh. And they talked to some Neighbors walking their dogs by our House. Oops! Bad Parents! I Really want to Have a Neighborhood Feel so We are working on it!

  14. John S April 20, 2016 at 1:04 am #

    The sanitizer no doubt was endorsed by the Howard Hughes estate?

  15. Craig April 20, 2016 at 2:51 am #

    There is a saying I have heard among expats in African countries: Shake a hand, pick your nose and die. Sanitizer can come in quite handy in some places.

  16. Elin April 20, 2016 at 2:59 am #

    If you are going to bring something to the playground to wash your child’s hands I would suggest wet wipes. They are meant to get rid of dirt and that is what you mainly need. If you use hand sanitizer on dirty hands you will just move the dirt around. Sure, you might kill a few bacteria but wet wipes will probably do that as well by moving them away from the hands instead. Yes, there are brands of wet wipes that are terrible for your skin and the environment but there are also brands that are eco- and people friendly.

  17. JT April 20, 2016 at 3:01 am #

    Kids should learn to wash their hands, with soap and water, after going to the bathroom and before eating, because that’s what they’ll need to do as adults to not spread colds and other diseases.

    But they should get dirty, including dirty hands from being outside – psychologically and in terms of developing their immune system and not developing allergies.

  18. hineata April 20, 2016 at 5:10 am #

    I admit to be a little weird – I like the smell of hand sanitizer, especially the hospital strength stuff you’re supposed to use evert time you open or close a door there (or so it seems ☺). So I use it whenever I pass one. Nothing at all to do with cleanliness, lol! Still, I get a kick out of the smell of petrol too….and anyone else sniffed Serbian whiskey? It’s like jet fuel ☺.

    Never bothered to get the kids to use it….even the immune deficient one only uses it in hospital, and never had any hassles with skin germs.

  19. Katie G April 20, 2016 at 7:51 am #

    PEople ought to stop talking about the exceptions in the comments here; I think most of us who subscribe to FR thinking understand that there are exceptions for a lot of reasons, but that’s not the point of
    FRK.

  20. Jae April 20, 2016 at 8:10 am #

    As full grown, healthy, or semi-healthy adults, please let us look back to our very own childhood. I do not remember ever using hand sanitizer, we didn’t have it readily available. Nor do I recall frequently washing my hands in global fear of germs. I remember playing, getting filthy, eating after getting out of lake water (pretending to have “cleaned up”), and all other realities that send people today screaming into the night. We are still here, yes? We function everyday, yes? So will the now generation…relax…it’s going to be okay. Hand sanitizer is a wonderful commodity, hand washing is a needed habit to form, however, neither can ever replace fun. Especially when you are five.

  21. CrazyCatLady April 20, 2016 at 9:27 am #

    The playground that I found the need for hand sanitizer was the one at McDonalds. They never seem to clean those things down and if you live in a snowbound place, they are a nice activity to get the little kids moving for an extended time. (Outside is nice but little ones tend to not be able to stay out as much as older kids.) We washed hands and used the sanitizer before eating when we played on those things. If we didn’t…we got sick.

    Regular, outside park? Sunlight kills most of those germs. I didn’t worry about the hand washing or sanitizer there. We often spent the afternoon at the park, with snacks, that kids could come get when they were hungry. We spent the time there because I needed time to socialize with other adults. I am glad the kids got to play, but I really needed that time to chat with others. The kids…they ran wild…hitting each other with pool noodle swords, rolling in the sand and grass, generally having a grand time with little parent intervention unless they got hurt and needed a kiss on the hurt.

  22. Leashie April 20, 2016 at 10:06 am #

    We have 6 boys. A coworker once commented, “I don’t know how your kids never get sick. I feel like I miss work all the time and I just have 2.” I replied, “it’s because they lick everything they see.” She laughed. I was serious.

    Not that I want them to kick everything, but there’s 6 of them. I couldn’t sanitize all of them even if I wanted to.

  23. Jen April 20, 2016 at 10:44 am #

    If you must sanitize — how about using a product that reflects the old-fashioned spirit of child raising.
    http://www.amazon.com/MomSpit-No-Rinse-Cleanser-Hands-Green/dp/B000SLTEB2
    or, just use the real thing. 🙂

  24. Havva April 20, 2016 at 10:53 am #

    My kid just developed one of the leading side effect for antibiotics (yuck). Her doctor recommended probiotics. Earlier this month her gastroenterologist asked if we had tried probiotics. So at the moment I am trying to feed my kid as much variety, and as many CFUs (colony forming units), of bacteria as I can. And I hand bottles of these bacterial sluries each morning to a teacher who is spraying the whole classroom with bleach water!

    It feels like we are on the cusp of something revolutionary. The research about microbiomes is absolutely fascinating. The observed differences between sterile mice and regular mice. The evidence that mood disorders such as depression might be treatable by changing gut bacteria. It is all a little mind boggling. I wonder how far we are from the day when a new field of medicine opens in the treatment of the microbiome, when patients start getting lab work on their gut bacteria, maybe their household bacteria, and doctors prescribe bacterial cultures intended to create a healthy bacterial environment. An environment we would be warned against destroying with, bleach, alcohol, and anti-bacterials. No crystal ball here, but the potential changes seem vast, and the research seems sure to lead in a direction far from our current cultural obsession with sterilizing ourselves and our environments.

  25. Catherine Caldwell-Harris April 20, 2016 at 12:08 pm #

    Is there a website where we can post videos and photos of our children doing things that the fear-mongers say are no-nos? We’ve discussed on this webiste how parents are afraid to, say, let their kids climb trees because they don’t see anyone else doing it. Exposure therapy is one way that your fears can be reduced when you are exposed to the fear and no bad result occurs. Clinicians use videos and pictures as well as live events. Our gallery of “I let me kids to what???” could help.

    Here’s a pretty mild example of my children playing in the rain on a street. Sadly, we are the only family outside.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ud321B8pL5Q&feature=youtu.be

  26. Nadine April 20, 2016 at 12:15 pm #

    I went to a talk about this subject yesterday. So what I learned from actial praticing researchers and doctors: The anti bacterial soaps can do damage to our stomach bacteria. it’s good for our immune system to get dirty. the fumes of cleaning agents and other crap can do way more damage to our health. There are more and more diseases that are linked to poor stomach flora.

  27. BL April 20, 2016 at 12:24 pm #

    @Catherine Caldwell-Harris
    “We’ve discussed on this website how parents are afraid to, say, let their kids climb trees because they don’t see anyone else doing it.”

    One problem is that trees accessible to children (i.e., practically any tree not deep in a forest) has had the lower branches trimmed precisely to keep kids from climbing them (liability again). When the lowest branch is ten feet off the ground, it really isn’t safe.

  28. Reziac April 20, 2016 at 12:26 pm #

    Katie G says: “PEople ought to stop talking about the exceptions in the comments here; I think most of us who subscribe to FR thinking understand that there are exceptions for a lot of reasons, but that’s not the point of FRK.”

    Indeed — the whole point of FRK is that the exceptions should not BE the rules.

    But I think there’s also value in noting: “I’m an exception, and I don’t need any damn rules. I know my own needs and I can take care of myself.”

  29. Nadine April 20, 2016 at 12:27 pm #

    https://www.facebook.com/EenVandaag/videos/1269121566448848/ Meanwhile in Denmark (and yes this was on a news show in The Netherlands)

  30. Aimee April 20, 2016 at 12:32 pm #

    At our last house, our neighbors were germ-phobes and ridiculous about letting their kids play outside (where they might get dirty). Once, their girls were over at our house and my kids were in the garden. My oldest pulled one out, wiped off the dirt on her pants, and took a bite. The look of horror on the dad’s face was awesome. And it wasn’t like mine was doing it to show off or anything…she just wanted a carrot, so she ate one. Offered some to the other girls, but they were taken home immediately.

  31. Becka April 20, 2016 at 12:34 pm #

    My daughter’s kindergarten class had giant bottles of the stuff everywhere. Remember when we simply washed our hands when we were ready for a snack?

  32. BL April 20, 2016 at 12:34 pm #

    @Nadine
    ” this was on a news show in The Netherlands”

    When I was a kid, we could do things like that in De Verenigde Staten.

    But now we’re so “advanced” (rolls eyes).

  33. lollipoplover April 20, 2016 at 12:39 pm #

    “I get a kick out of the smell of petrol too….and anyone else sniffed Serbian whiskey? It’s like jet fuel.”

    One of my daughter’s classmates collects hand sanitizers and has almost all of the different flavors/scents!
    I think strawberry smells the best but we don’t use the stuff. I do remember when we were that age and loved scratch and sniff books. Remember those.. also was a huge lover and sniffer of rubber cement. That was my favorite time of day, rubber cement -rolled bouncy balls we made for recess and sniffing that lovely chemical aroma! I wish they still used it and not the crappy/non-glue sticks. Bring back rubber cement!

  34. Richard Jones April 20, 2016 at 1:01 pm #

    Yet again we are being manipulated by fear/shame marketing techniques to buy a product. Fact: washing hands and the use of alcohol sanitizers can limit the spread of things like the common cold and certain infectious agents. This should be mandatory in THE HOSPITAL environment but for the rest of us just wash your hands before eating and/or touching your eyes/mouth/nose. (Good luck with getting small kids to do that.) Vaccinate your kids to help prevent serious illnesses and let biology and environment exposure take care of the rest.

    Get a grip people! Even trying to seriously discuss the pros and cons of these issues helps to validate the faulty premise of these marketing ploys. Just realize that most of the time you are being played by someone and often just follow the money to find out why.

  35. Christopher Byrne April 20, 2016 at 1:11 pm #

    Ah, yes. What would they say to my growing up? My mother and father regularly hosed my brothers and me down BEFORE they would let us come in to take a bath. We had three classifications of clothes–school clothes (kept pristine as possible), play clothes (go be active and messy) and dirt clothes (not going in the washer until they were rinsed off…usually with us in them, see above). Getting dirty was one of the joys of our childhood.

  36. Betsy in Michigan April 20, 2016 at 1:53 pm #

    Anna, with son with eczema: if a simple request doesn’t work, a 504 for a medical condition would be possible. Also consider researching the instructions for your own homemade sanitizer with things like tea tea oil or lavender or whatever (probably garlic, too, but maybe not good for in public!).

    Last year or so we had a 4 or 5 year old nearly die of alcohol poisoning b/c of these %$#@ scented and flavored hand sanitizers (they lick their hands and re-apply or something). I heard of a case somewhere else, too.

  37. Yocheved April 20, 2016 at 1:54 pm #

    Anyone else think that a teaspoon of dirt a day keeps the germs at bay?

    I grew up with this, raised my daughter with this, and yet we’re still here to tell the tale. My kiddo has an iron clad immune system, and can kick any germ or virus within 24 hours.

  38. Ariel April 20, 2016 at 3:04 pm #

    And then keep some anti-itch cream on hand (ha! on HAND!), cause too much of that stuff irritates your skin.

  39. NY Mom April 20, 2016 at 3:19 pm #

    Sanitizer? Invitation to allergies.
    Exposure? Healthy immune system
    Look it up.

  40. John April 20, 2016 at 3:50 pm #

    Isn’t this actually UNHEALTHY? Don’t kids need to get a little bacteria in their lives in order to build up an immunity?

  41. John April 20, 2016 at 3:57 pm #

    Quote from article:

    “unfortunately, that also means there is more dirt and bacteria to keep at bay”

    @Powers:

    I don’t think MichaelF was implying that the hand sanitizers contained antibacterial agents. But the article did say the purpose of slathering hand sanitizers all over your kids was to keep the bacteria away. The truth is, less bacteria in our children’s lives mean less immunities too and I think that’s what Michael was alluding to.

  42. bmommyx2 April 20, 2016 at 4:06 pm #

    I am not a hand sanitizer fan, but it can be handy when your kids want to eat & the bathroom is not near by. Most of the time my kids don’t get sanitized though.

  43. monica thompson April 20, 2016 at 4:42 pm #

    Hand sanitizer is evil at our house. My husband and son both have migraines and the smell of it (that I can’t even smell) makes there’s worse. My son has a note not too use it in his “triggers”, and his teachers have been great about moving the students that use it regularly (as well as girls wearing too much perfume) away from him. I use it at work sometimes (I’m a home health aide) but wash it off before I come home

  44. John April 20, 2016 at 5:10 pm #

    There was an exhibit at the Museum of Natural History in New York about germs and bacteria (and also at the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey) and how most of them are healthy and good for you–so even my 6-year-old knows not to be paranoid about “germs and bacteria.” This also applies to the craziness about peanuts, the very latest science is that kids should be exposed to nuts and peanuts as soon as possible to prevent allergies to them. Most of the the anti-peanut stuff is yuppie hysteria.

  45. JR April 20, 2016 at 5:16 pm #

    @Anna

    As a former teacher, I can tell you that you can exempt your kid from pretty much ANYTHING you dang well please, especially in the early grades. All it takes is a parental note to the school.

    If the school gets up in arms about it because of hygiene or illness fears, get a note from your pediatrician explaining that hand sanitizer (or hanitizer, as my students used to call it), aggravates your son’s skin condition, and that your boy will use soap and hot water to wash before lunch.

    A 504 probably won’t be necessary, but if it is, you can go that route too.

  46. ebohlman April 20, 2016 at 5:35 pm #

    I can’t help thinking that this fear of dirt is really a form of class-consciousness disguised as a health concern: “we’re not like those peasants who need to toil in the soil”. Obsessive cleanliness is often a form of middle-class virtue signaling.

    Hand sanitizers do have their place in crowded indoor environments like classrooms. The bacteria and viruses that actually cause disease in people are overwhelmingly transmitted by (who would have guessed it?) people, not from the natural environment. Hand hygiene is important in environments where everything is being touched by everyone else. The outdoors generally isn’t such an environment. About the only soil-borne disease of any significance that anyone is likely to be exposed to is tetanus, and what do you know, we’ve had a vaccine for that for more than 70 years.

  47. Owen Allen April 20, 2016 at 7:52 pm #

    Swopping microflora (germs if you will) is quite an essential method to develop a robust immune system. Clean babies have been linked to rising rates of allergy such as asthma. Even in polio, the problem of paralysis was when a child over the age of 3 got it. Exposure under 3 had a small fatality rate but the survivor’s nervous system has a lot of redundancy below 3.

  48. Warren April 20, 2016 at 8:31 pm #

    Do people actually make an effort to wash their hands before they eat?

    Haven’t done that since I was 6 years old.

  49. MichelleB April 20, 2016 at 10:23 pm #

    @Warren — Depends on what we’ve been doing. If I was just scrubbing the bathroom or changing a diaper, I’m going to wash my hands. I do usually wash them before cooking though, so I guess I’m covered.

  50. CrazyCatLady April 21, 2016 at 12:18 am #

    I was one of those sickly kids. I got EVERYTHING, and almost didn’t pass 3rd grade because I was sick so much. This was in the early 70s, I played in the sandbox, ate food directly from the garden without washing, had cats and dog. Penicillin and vaccinations are things that helped to keep me alive.

    My kids are the same way. They get most everything. They play in the dirt, have cats and dogs, ducks and geese, have eaten candy left behind at the playground in the sand…and one pretty much says the alphabet at light speed when he needs to wash his hand and most of the stuff ends up on the towel. Hand sanitizer is nice when we have to use a port-a-potty. That is pretty much the only time we use it.

    I found out my daughter tested positive for MTHR (or something like that) a gene mutation that makes it hard to utilize foliate. One of other things that the mutation can do is to make people have a weak immune system. I am pretty sure she got it from me. We will continue on with the vaccination schedule because it makes sense to me to protect ourselves from the biggies if we can. Also flu shots so we don’t have more hospital visits because of it. But otherwise, I want my kids to wash their hands when we get home from the grocery store, and before eating. Snacks…eh…eat them outside while you pet the ducks and geese. Come to the dinner table looking presentable.

  51. EricS April 21, 2016 at 10:38 am #

    Alcohol based hand sanitizers are fine. Though we don’t use it often in our family. Usually for emergencies, like when we decide to eat out, and it’s finger foods like burgers and fries. And there is no water and soap available. ie. Order fast food, then take it to a park to eat. But even then, there are times we still don’t use it.

    However, you will never find anything “antibacterial” in our home, except for cleaning supplies. Most antibacterial anything contains triclosan. Which, in long periods of use, can be harmful to the human body. If your going to use hand sanitizers stick with the alcohol based ones, and make sure it doesn’t say “antibacterial”. And make sure that it’s unscented. Most scented sanitizers contain toxic chemicals.

    Personally, I think it’s good for kids to get dirty. Most of us here never used hand sanitizers growing up. I don’t even remember them being around till the late 80’s, early 90’s. Kids immune systems are still developing, so you want them to be exposed to the daily “germs” they come across. Not saying eat with filthy hands. But if they just played in the playground, there’s no need to be over vigilant and constantly getting them to sanitize their hands every 30 min. It becomes an unnecessary habit. And for some children, the fear their parents have about germs are automatically instilled in them. And they don’t know why. So they just automatically reach for the sanitizers, just because.

  52. Kimberly April 21, 2016 at 11:45 am #

    Anna —

    I’m not a teacher, but I was so upset by the frequent use of hand sanitizer in my kids’ classrooms, that I sent a note to school letting them know that I didn’t want my children using the stuff.

    Whatever happened to using soap and water? My guess is that having the kids make a pit stop at the sink to wash their hands was eating up too much classroom time. So much quicker to just squirt some sanitizer in their hands as they walk through the door.

  53. Kathea April 21, 2016 at 11:55 am #

    This is mostly an aside but I just bought and am reading my way through “Free to Learn”. What a great book suggestion Lenore! Parts really mesh with how I already thought children should play and learn and other parts are truly eye opening. I’m at a super boring conference exhibit booth and am almost done reading it.

    And I don’t use hand sanitizer unless forced to. Kids get dirty and should. I spent most of my childhood playing in the mud with my sister. We pretended it was a ritzy spa offering south carolina red clay masks.

  54. Ann from St. Peter April 21, 2016 at 12:20 pm #

    Gah! Too much sanitizing is my pet peeve! Exposure to germs is one way to build up your immune system – why don’t people understand that? Case in point – my boss and his family are sick all the time. He is huge believer in hand sanitizer, won’t touch doorknobs, wipes down his desk with antibacterial wipes and washes his hands all the time. In fact, ironically, he washed his hands so much that they got dry and cracked and he developed a staph infection because of it, and ended up on IV antibiotics. His kids were “protected” from all the germs and they usually ended up as the kids hugging the toilet or getting strep throat.

  55. Brooks April 21, 2016 at 1:13 pm #

    We Americans are so neurotic about germs (though not as bad as the Japanese). Every time I see a parent wiping down the shopping cart or putting their babies in one of those cart covers, I feel bad for the overprotected kid.

  56. Donna April 21, 2016 at 4:59 pm #

    Warren – I make an effort to wash my hands when I stop doing certain things. Often this is right before I eat. However, washing my hands just because I am about to start eating is not something I do.

  57. Meg April 21, 2016 at 7:47 pm #

    Has anyone looked up the product?

    Essential oils are all the rage. I had the impression one of the selling points was that they were more, “Natural.”

    Personally? I’m all about the hand sanitizer I don’t really care about playground germs, but it’s saved us from plenty of gross bugs that have gone around the school yard.

  58. Warren April 21, 2016 at 9:32 pm #

    Donna
    Same here for the most part. Then again there’s been times I’ve left black fingerprints on sandwiches on busy days.

  59. SanityAnyone? April 21, 2016 at 11:17 pm #

    It felt good to read that.

  60. SanityAnyone? April 21, 2016 at 11:24 pm #

    P.S. For the past two years I have written notes to my kids’ school specifically prohibiting them from using hand sanitizer. They have it in the classroom. I gave no reason, but told them it had to be soap and water. I wrote this on the medical disclosure form where they ask if they can give otc meds, in the additional notes section. I also told their main teacher via a personal note.

  61. The Other Mandy April 22, 2016 at 1:03 pm #

    We use hand sanitizer at work (vision therapy office with lots of kids, elderly, and a good handful of immunocompromised patients). Personally, I don’t use it; I prefer soap and water. I’m more concerned that surfaces (doorknobs etc) get wiped down because during flu season I’ve seen my whole staff get sick. I’ve caught Norwalk virus, swine flu, regular flu and some really nasty colds from my patients, even with reasonable precautions. However, after 12 years of patient contact, I get sick less and less often.

    For my kids I only sanitize them (maybe) after using an indoor play area. Those places are germ havens.

  62. MattB April 22, 2016 at 1:16 pm #

    Hand sanitizer is an absolute necessity for us (unscented, alcohol based).

    Exactly 7 times a year for home football games after anyone uses the porta-potty.

    For the bathroom at home, even after peeing, not usually. We know our own germs.

    The old adage:

    “My parents taught me to wash my hands after peeing”
    “My parents taught me to not pee on my hands”

  63. Brian April 25, 2016 at 3:10 pm #

    Reminds me of this XKCD comic:

    http://xkcd.com/1161/