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Old 02-10-2007, 12:50 PM   #1
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Default When do I know how much is too much??

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This week a 7 yo died from complications of the flu. A school had to close because so many students are sick (I believe they said over half of the school). They were cleaning and sanatizing the school, plus (I could be wrong) I thought I heard they were taking cleaning solution to the homes of the sick children. (I believe they said it was/is Norovirus). (this is all happening approximately 120 miles from my home.

Now, with that being said, there are several people at my training( new job) that tell me I NEED to let my kids be exposed to germs and illness so their bodies can protect themselves against a major illness. I understand my kids cant live in a bubble, maybe I am too obsessive about germs and sickness, but is it really THAT necessary to NOT protect my kids against colds/flus/and other illnesses?? I use hand sanatizer OR wash my hands every hour (sometimes half hour especially when I have a cold like now). Plus every time I use the restroom/blow my nose/ handle money)

The people who tell me this are all women, who have kids that are grown. SIGH. I think I have taken too much cold medicine (or not enough), sorry.

I do understand the concept of super germs and such (just so you know)

[also my other job, the one I am leaving, is in the food industry and one of the new health codes for WA state is that you must wash after using the restroom AND you MUST wash after LEAVING the restroom. So I am used to doing this also (when there aren't two different washing areas when I am out I use hand sanitizer]
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Old 02-10-2007, 02:08 PM   #2
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Studies show that children are more likely to develop animal dander allergies later in life, if they've not had a pet or other contact with animals. Many diseases are mild in children, but much worse in adults. Some theorize that the rise in immune and autoimmune disorders are a result of living in progressively more sterile environments.

That being said, is it necessary to go out of your way to expose your children to illness? Probably not, but hand sanitizers and excessive handwashing aren't necessary either. I can't say that you are washing your hands too much, but every half hour, especially in winter, can do more harm than good. If your hands are dry or chapped, you're definitely washing too much.

I recently had a staph infection on my nose (impetigo and cellulitis) that I was having problems getting rid of (I have an autoimmune disorder), and asked the pharmacist and my doctor about precautions, such as hand sanitizer. Both recommended against hand sanitizers. Apparently, most hand sanitizers are virtually useless. They're not as effective as handwashing and they dry out skin (because of the alcohol), increasing the chance of reinfection. My ENT always tells me that skin and the immune system are the best protection against germs. Since my immune system is out of wack, I have to be more careful with my skin, but in general people don't need to really give germs much thought. Washing your hands before touching your face, he said is the best recommendation. So after using the restroom and before meals is usually sufficient.
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Old 02-10-2007, 03:49 PM   #3
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I feel for you, it is a hard one to decide. Just do what you think is best.

My kids are germ friendly and definitely not germ free and have yet to be sick a day this year. We really could be a lot cleaner haha, oh well. It helps homeschooling though, we do get sick sometimes when our stepsons visit even when they haven't had a cold in a while. But general day to day exposure to the grocery clerk, money, or what have you doesn't have an impact on us. I am one of those that decided on not being overly sanitary but I still have my limits. I use a meat thermometer, sanitize cooking areas and look out for the really sick kids and stay away from them. But other than that I dont enforce anything else or do anything else. I am sure some would be mortified but to each his own right? What works for others doesn't have to work for you. As long as you don't have a problem with OCD I dont see why frequently washing your hand would be bad.

Really even with all that we do we are still exposed to germs. There are probably more germs on our keyboard than on the inside of your toilet. But if it makes your feel better, then do it, the power of the mind is amazing.

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