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10 of the Grossest Things Your Kids Touch Every Day
It's a sad truth that the world is filled with germs. We can't see them, but they're there. And try as you might to protect your kids from them, sometimes it's outside of your control. These are some of the gross things your children handle — and what you should do about it.
Think about it: These bags likely touch the nastiest surfaces, like the floor of the public bathroom (just like your purse). The material of the bag determines how to clean it, but for fabric, Carolyn Forte, the director of the Cleaning Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute recommends mixing a few pumps of mild liquid facial soap with two cups of warm water, then use a soft cloth to blot away grime.
Some of the germiest places in the house are the hot spots everyone touches, like handles. Bacteria and viruses can live on touch points for up to 48 hours, which is why Forte recommends zapping knobs with surface-disinfecting sprays that are EPA-registered (check the label).
Studies have found that school fountains can contain anywhere from 62,000 to 2.7 million bacteria per square inch of the spigot. Yikes. That's part of the reason many schools now allow children to bring bottled water to class with them.
According to research, the seats your kids sit on as they ride to school every day is a breeding ground for dangerous microorganisms, including mold and bacteria. We suggest you encourage your kids to wash their hands once they get to school and again when they arrive home.
Would you let your kid lick a toilet seat? Then don't let them put your phone in their mouth, because it's crawling with even more germs than your bathroom fixture. To kill germs, Forte recommends using an alcohol wipe every few days. "Buy a box of individually packaged ones and keep a few in your purse or car," she recommends.
Research from University of Arizona found that desk surfaces ranked high in levels of E.coli, salmonella, streptococcus, and more bacteria. But after wiping down this surface, the levels were reduced by 99%. Maybe it's time to pack disinfectant wipes in your kid's backpack once a week for a little scrub-a-dub.
A study by shoe company found that thanks to frequent contact with "fecal material" (most likely thanks to your trips to public restrooms), shoes harbor a host of nasty bacteria, including E. coli. Just another reason to have a No Shoes in the House Rule.
Yes, the thing you strap your kids into daily. One study from the University of Birmingham found they have twice as many germs as toilets. To keep it clean, Forte recommends referring to the manufacturer's instructions, since these seats are often made with a variety of different materials.
Did you know that your television remote is one of the dirtiest items in your home? After all, it is handled by every single family member. Forte says you should clean it once a week with a disinfecting or alcohol wipe to keep germs at bay.
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