Remember there are different schools of thought in terms of hygiene, reminds Dr. Frances Pang, pediatrician at Cedars-Sinai Medical Group and former chief resident of pediatrics. “On one hand, you want to reduce exposure to dangerous bacteria and environmental toxins,” she notes, “but if you keep things too clean, you won’t get enough exposure to good bacteria,” which can often help children develop immunities.
Dr. Pang advises parents to open windows at times when there aren’t a lot of pollutants flowing through.
She also suggests keeping surfaces dry in the bathroom and kitchen to avoid mold allergies.
While hand sanitizers are good in a pinch, try not to overuse them.
Teach older children to wash their hands. Most pediatricians recommend that kids be able to sing two rounds of “Happy Birthday” before leaving the sink.