I've generally been leary about hand sanitizer but I've heard a couple good arguments against my concerns, so I'd love to hear some thoughts. A quick check on cosmetics database shows that sanitizers are all over the map in terms of safety. So lets assume we're talking about one that ranks about a 1 in the database. Like this one. http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/product/297805/CleanWell_CleanWell_All-Natural_Hand_Sanitizer__1_ounce_spray/ although, we can take its score with a grain of salt because several of the 0s say "none" for data.
Anyway, lets pretend we're talking about a "safe" type of hand sanitizer that does not have the immediate concern of fingers in mouth (and my dd has a loose tooth, so fingers are regularly entering her mouth :) )
My understanding is that hand sanitizers, both alcohol and thyme oil based, do not have the risk of creating "superbugs" with their overuse. So assuming thats true, my concerns are killing off good bacteria on my kids' hands and also that if we're constantly sanitizing our kids' environment their immune system isn't getting a workout thus, once they finally meet a germ, they're more likely to get sick.
So, the counter arguments I've heard: killing off good bacteria is only a concern in the gut, and on the skin it doesn't really matter, and besides, as soon as you touch any other part of your body your hands will be quickly "recolonized" with good bacteria (and other bacteria as well, of course)
And my thoughts on preventing the immune system work out is, if its just sanitizer on the hands once in awhile (like at school or other activities) it will matter much less than the amount of germs regularly encountered throughout the environment. School, of course, is probably sanitized up the wazoo with icky products. Can't control that. But at home we're pretty "germ friendly" so kids are getting more than enough "friendly exposure" at home and playing outside.
So, thoughts? I'm not planning to start buying it and having my kids use it regularly, but I am considering buying several large bottles of the safest brand I can get and donating it to my dd's classroom :) I'll talk to the teacher first, to make sure there aren't any school rules that alcohol based must be used in the classroom. Also, any favorite/safest brands? Like, if I were to choose a brand that I'd be the most happy about having my kids use immediately prior to licking their fingers, which would I choose?