Unfortunately, being a school teacher of middle school students means that I’m constantly exposed to germs. This age group is notoriously bad at practicing basic hygine- even when reminded, they “pretend” that an activity was completed instead of actually doing it. (Honestly, the 12 year-olds aren’t that different from the 2 year-olds.)
In an effort to keep sickness at bay, I purchased some pricey sweet-smelling hand sanitizer from Ava Anderson that I promised to use regularly. I did this after reading an article about the horrors of using hand sanitizer, and how it can mess with hormones.
In my research into how to prevent the spread of germs, I found some truly disturbing information about hand soaps and sanitizers.
It turns out that Ava Anderson hasn’t made any false promises about the amount of germs their sanitizer kills. In fact, in my new favorite scientific mommy blog, there is evidence to prove that the Ava sanitizer doesn’t really kill any germs at all! (GASP.)
Basic hand washing with any soap that lasts for a full minute is good for keeping basic bad germs out of the house. This is what I try so hard to get Jasper to practice. In fact, I’m having Patrick installing a step stool into the laundry room so that Jasper can wash his hands as a ritual whenever he comes home.
Basic handwashing isn’t being crazy- it is good hygiene!
Still, I want to prevent the stomach bug from returning too often from our house, and I need to keep germs at bay, especially when I deal with a kid who displays less than awesome hygiene.
The author of the shocking blog post did a bunch of experiments, and she found that the best thing to use is Zylast. This stuff killed all of the norovirus and rotavirus in experiments, and there is boatloads of evidence that this stuff is more effective than Purell that they are effective at killing those stomach bugs.
I’ll return to those three simple truths-
- Daycare and basic hand sanitization play a major role in these illnesses
- Bacteria is good and important. I don’t want to kill it all.
- We will continue to get stomach viruses, even if I do everything right
If you look back at #2 there, I’m not really trying to kill all bacteria, all of the time. I’m not going to run around, trying to sanitize Jasper’s hands with Zylast all day long. And after reading that article about BPA, I don’t plan to use this sanitizer all that often, either. Most days, we’ll all stick with Dawn Dish soap, which is gentle on the oils that our bodies need.
If there is a virus going around daycare, if we just visited a germ factory, or if I encounter a germy paper, I’m going to take this stuff out.
I can hear grandmothers at Stop & Shop freaking out about putting hand sanitizer like Zylast on my boy’s hands.
“But it has alcohol in it!”
Yes, it does. And possibly ingesting a bit isn’t a huge deal, once in a while, according to poison control. Again, I’m not doing that often- only after a rare, especially gross activity.
My boys and I want to keep healthy bacteria around… we just don’t want to continue to come down with stomach bugs.