Oversanitizing... Is It Possible?

By: Stacia Naquin Email
By: Stacia Naquin Email

It’s not always fun for kids. But parents know it’s important to keep your hands clean.

“We have in the car, we have hand wipes and I keep some in my purse for when we're out somewhere,” says Alyssa Echevarria, a mom of two little boys.

Hand washing… wipes… hand-sanitizer… sound familiar?

But with so much hand washing and hand-sanitizing going on, are we making our hands too clean?
We talked with the folks from the health department.

“ I don't know that I could ever say there's over-sanitizing going on right now,” said Dr. Bernadette Albanese. “When we know that people simply - you know, some people are really good about it. But a lot of people just aren't.”

Dr. George Ulrich is an ophthalmologist with Colorado Springs Health Partners. This is a busy time of year for him because of pink eye, which is transmitted by your hands.

“There's no downside to washing your hands,” said Dr. Ulrich.

But some people wonder... when we wash so much, could we be getting rid of good bacteria?

“There's plenty of the normal bacteria on our skin that you can't eradicate them completely,” said Dr. Ulrich.

And since boys will be boys... Frank and Alyssa say, when it comes to hand-washing and sanitizing, they'll just do the best they can.

“You're gonna get germs regardless,” said Frank.

“Yeah we don't catch everything that goes in their mouths,” said Alyssa.

But making that effort when you wash your hands or use that wipe goes a long way to keeping yourself and all of us healthy.

“It's an important consideration, not only for yourself, but for your community,” said Dr. Ulrich. “It's a public health measure.”

To learn the proper way to wash your hands, click on the El Paso County Health Department link below. There you'll also find a fun picture you can print out and color with your kids, encouraging them to get excited about good hand-washing.


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