Let’s face it: young kids do some pretty gross things and put themselves in germy situations. However, some of these instances are far germier than others. In today’s post, we took some pointers from Parenting’s “How Gross Is It?” article.

Here are the germiest situations for your child, and some that you don’t need to worry so much about:

  • Not washing hands before meals: You should always enforce the hand-washing rule before sitting down for meals. When your children come in from outside, they carry all kinds of germs, including fecal bacteria. Bacteria and viruses are transmitted through eyes, nose or mouth, so make sure your kids are washing well with warm water and soap.
  • Changing a diaper on the fold-down changing tables: Public changing tables are not wiped down as often as they should be and have been shown to cause outbreaks of intestinal illnesses. To combat the germs, bring disinfecting wipes in your diaper bag or use a disposable paper liner. Always remember to wash your hands thoroughly after using a changing table.
  • Using the same nasal aspirator on sick children: Even if your kids are both sick at the same time, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are sick with the same infection or virus. This means that you could be spreading more infections if you use the same nasal aspirator on both kids. The best thing to do is buy two, or wash it with hot soapy water or run it through the dishwasher between uses.
  • Playing in the sandbox: Public sandboxes are often left open, so animals will often use them as a bathroom. They can also house parasites, like pinworms. If you have a sandbox at home, make sure it stays covered when it’s not in use. If your child does play in a public sandbox, make sure they wash their hands well and give them a bath after.
  • Eating directly off of a restaurant high-chair: Surprisingly, restaurant high-chairs are one of the worst places for germs. They usually don’t get disinfected and get used multiple times. Make sure to use disinfecting wipes and let it dry before placing your child in a high-chair. You can also ask the restaurant for a paper plate, or bring your own plate for them to eat off of.

Some of the scenarios you don’t need to be as worried about include when your children pee in the bathtub or run around nude during potty training. Urine doesn’t carry any bacteria, so the chances of your child contracting anything from these scenarios are slim. However, keep a watchful eye if they have open cuts or sores.

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