“Generally, at back-to-school time we see a bit of a spike in infections, viral in particular,” says Sheila Nolan, MD, Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital. Hand washing and sanitizing is one of a few ways to minimize your child’s chances of catching a bug, but are anti-bacterial products safe?
“The alcohol hand gel is fine, generally very benign,” says Dr. Nolan. “With anti-bacterial, what we worry about more is ingested antibiotics, when the organisms they target can become resistant.” That said, antibacterial agents are not the only means to germ-free hands. Says Dr. Nolan, “Really lathering hands up [for 15 to 20 seconds] with a non-antibacterial soap and then rinsing can be just as effective.” But overall, it’s not a bad idea to get kids in the habit of using a sanitizing gel. “Ideally, every time you sneeze or have contact with mucus membranes, you should disinfect.”
For more about avoiding back-to-school germs, go to: www.westchestermedicalcenter.com/pediatric-infectious-diseases