I'm definitely a germ-conscience Mom, but now I'm questioning my love for anything antibacterial. More and more reports are saying that kids need more exposure to germs. Adding to my concern is that in the last 3 days, I have read two very scary articles...
Daycare may protect kids from leuk.emia... if you'd like to avoid reading it, it basically says that some kids are born with a genetic mutation and if they get certain infections, it can trigger leuk.emia. The theory is that if children are exposed to and contract many infections in early childhood, they will have better immunity later.
The next article I read was from Pare.nts Magazine called "Surprising News About Diabe.tes". The don't know exactly what causes type I diabe.tes, but they think it could be caused by environmental factors. One they mention is Extreme Cleanliness, since many of our kids aren't exposed to normal germs, their immune systems aren't as strong, which can cause an auto-immune reaction in the pancreas... type I diabe.tes.
Now, don't get me wrong. I am a Stay-At-Home Mom and plan to keep it that way. Daycare has some positives, but also has some negatives, and I won't change my parenting philosophies for a theoretical risk... especially if I can do something about it.
I have decided to stop buying antibacterial gels and hand soaps. Many pediatricians, including mine, seem to think we should anyway. And maybe we should be scheduling more play dates and playgroups, even if kids are sick, to expose everyone to normal germs. I need to be careful of disease since I'm pregnant and I'll also want to be careful once the baby is born. But once the baby is a few months old, I will swear off them for good.
Now, if I could only get Bath & Bo.dy Works to make a hand soap without antibacterial properties. I love their scents so much! Anyone know if they already make it? Anyone want to join me in emailing them to request that they start a new line of regular (non-antibacterial) hand soaps?
To share what doesn't work for you, stop by Shannon's blog, Rocks in my Dryer.