Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A Drop (or two) A Day, Keeps the Sniffles Away

It's that time of year again: school is in session, the weather is getting (marginally) cooler, and the colds have begun. At least in our house they have. Baby Girl has been hit by two colds since the other two children have started school; nothing serious, just the annual annoying, runny nose, I-could-live-without-this-thanks, cough and cold season. We'll see the end of runny noses some time around June, but until then I do my level best to keep the really bad germs away.

I know some exposure to germs is necessary for good immune system development, but I'd much rather keep the big ones at bay. Like the time Older Girl got pneumonia and missed two weeks of school. I can do without that kind of thing, especially with a new baby coming right in the height of the Germ-a-palooza.

The problem is always that we never seem to be near soap and water when I really need the kids to wash their hands. Like when we are coming out of the grocery store or T*rget and the kids have touched every possible surface, including the insides of approximately 3.5 bathroom stalls.

So I started keeping a pump bottle of alcohol based hand sanitizer in the cup holder of my car. This works like a charm because the kids get a drop as they climb into the car to buckle themselves. And Older Girl can get Baby Girl's hands while I am loading all the junk we bought.

I use only the alcohol-based sanitizers, like Purel*, except I buy the cheap, no-name stuff. I even bought one for Rob's car, because who knows what he is picking up at work and bringing home to us. (I don't use the hand sanitizers with any kind of "antibiotics" or "antimicrobial" additives because I am afraid of creating a strain of some kind of mega-bug that could wipe out the world - but I guess that is another post entirely!)

A little drop of hand sanitizer in the car - it really works for us! (Now if only they could invent some kind of mouthwash/sanitizer combo for when the kids insist on licking the shopping cart handles . . .)


  1. I used to do this, but I kept it in my purse and then changed purses and well, I stopped. Have you read the warnings about the hand sanitizers? Hopefully Baby Girl is not licking her hands right away, as apparently some kids are getting sick. Just what we need, one more helper that we have to watch out for now.

    By the way, if you have another girl, you will have to change Baby Girl's pseudonym.

  2. kids can get alcohol poisioning from consuming as little as a teaspoon of that stuff, so we need to watch when we give it to the littles.

    Otherwise, I love this hint!

  3. We keep one in the car too -- don't forget to squirt after church. That's a big picking-up-germs place!

    We have a saying in our car -- "don't forget to squirt or you'll get the squirts." Kinda yucky, I know -- it comes from the boys.

  4. Yeah, I did hear about all those warnings, but I figured that the way we do the baby's hands is still fairly ok. Older girl takes a small (way less than dime sized) squirt, rubs it on her own hands, and then, while her hands are still a little wet, she rubs the baby's hands. At that point, I don't even know if there is enough alcohol left to even kill germs, let alone poison her, but it makes me feel better anyway :)

  5. Oh, I forgot to say that we make sure everyone's hands are dry before we start the van. Older Girl takes the baby's hands and waves them in the air (she loves it!) and then OG and TB do the same thing. Once their hands are dry, it's safe to put them in their mouths, etc . . .

  6. Good idea. And also congrats on the other good idea not to keep things TOO germ free, otherwise your kids wouldn't develop any resistance. I often wonder why kids today seem to havfe so many allergies. It was UNHEARD of for kids inmy dad, for instance, to have things like "peanut allergies." I doctor I know sent her kids out to play in dirt piles, occasionally, just so they'd develop some natural resistance. Too antiseptic a world isnt' a good place


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