Friday, February 10, 2017

Choosing A Hand Sanitizer That is Safe For Children

Which hand sanitizers are safe for children?

Anyone who knows me or reads this blog knows that I am a fan of good old hand washing.  I hate, hate, hate that fact that classrooms across the country have huge containers of antibacterial hand sanitizers that they encouraged kids to use throughout the day instead of encouraging hand washing.   I cringe at the park when I see little kids placing travel hand sanitizers in their mouths (something I actually see a lot of).   

I get it, I am somewhat of a clean freak so I can appreciate a germaphobe. And schools and playgrounds are full of germs.   However, the reality is that many of these popular hand sanitizers contain one very harmful chemical that does more bad than good:  triclosan.   Triclosan is responsible for increasing antibacterial resistance and it is also a known endocrine disruptor (that means it imitates hormones in your body).  It was finally banned last year in antibacterial  soaps.... and yet it is still readily available in hand sanitizers, toothpaste and in basically any product that claims to be "antibacterial"  (which can include children's school supplies, cutting boards etc).

So, for a antibacterial hand sanitizer hater like myself, is there ever a place where I would consider it safe for my children to use hand sanitizers?  

The answer is:  YES, of course!  It just requires a little quick informed label reading.   

There are safer hand sanitizer that do not use Triclosan (we have our favorites available at our new Amazon Shop).  So, while washing with soap and water is still best, when this is not available :


  • - alcohol based sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol in the ingredients.


  • - Triclosan
  • - Fragrance

So, if you are going to Disneyland or any amusement park, or when its flu season or there is a norovirus running rampant in your school, go ahead, use the hand sanitizer if you can't wash your hands  - just read the label first! 

ps. When washing with soap and water,  remember to teach your children to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds - that is like signing "Happy Birthday"  twice! a 5 second "wash" (which I see so so often in public bathrooms!) will not really clean hands!


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