Poll: Hand Sanitizer (spinoff) - Mothering Forums
View Poll Results: Do you 'Sanitize' Your Hands?
Hands, face, tummy, feet.. whatever we can get it on! 7 2.58%
never :ning away:: 93 34.32%
only on occasion- sometimes we need it 152 56.09%
the obligatory 'other' 19 7.01%
Voters: 271. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 109 Old 05-03-2009, 09:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Another thread got me thinking.. Do you/your kids use hand sanitizer? Why or why not?

We absolutely do not. I nearly freak if someone tries to put it on the kids ('they' got my 8 yr old once). I've even gone so far with it as to tell her teachers not to give it to her but rather send her to the bathroom if she really needs to wash.

My issues with it have to do with the good/bad germ killing, the aweful smell that most have and that we don't know how animal-friendly most kinds are (we don't use products tested on animals).

Am I in the wrong with this? 'Cause in the other thread, a lot of mamas were recommending it.. I thought *not* using it was the natural living norm

Thanks!

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#2 of 109 Old 05-03-2009, 09:24 PM
 
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We don't normally use it, but I am now that my baby and I are sick, possibly with the flu
As far as I know, my children have never used it.

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#3 of 109 Old 05-03-2009, 09:33 PM
 
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No, I'm afraid of it. I do wash my hands very frequently with regular soap (nothing anti-bacterial). I have to have clean, scent-free hands but not necessarily germ free.

My kids have been using it this past week at school because of the swine flu. They are supposed to put a glob on every time the leave or enter the classroom. My DD says she hates it and her hands stink; she complained about not being able to suck her thumb Friday night cause she couldn't get it to completely wash off. I suppose I don't hate it enough to say complain to the school... mostly because there are only 3 weeks left.

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#4 of 109 Old 05-03-2009, 09:36 PM
 
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I don't know how to answer your poll.

Most people use hand sanitizer on hands...you don't have that as an option at all?? I don't know anyone who uses it on face/feet/everywhere. And whenever we can get it on? What would be the point of that? So the poll is sort of hard to respond to. We use it whenever we can't easily wash. I've got it in the car and use it after shopping trips and the like.

What exactly are you concerned about in good/bad germ killing? It won't affect intestinal bacteria or anything. It won't breed antibiotic resistant bacteria (the alcohol ones won't). I'm just not exactly sure what you mean about the germs enough to say if you're in the right! We use alcohol based ones (not the antibacterial chemical gels which do have issues) when washing isn't possible. My son has a condition that makes him vulnerable to serious effects from illnesses like flu. So I would use it even if I were uncomfortable. But I'm not uncomfortable.

I feel it is far better than nothing in terms of preventing viruses and bacterial infections. I certainly can't see freaking out over someone using it once on a child honestly but I freak out over things that others don't see any problem with so I get it from that standpoint. I don't know about the animal testing issues..alcohol has been around an awful long time though.

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#5 of 109 Old 05-03-2009, 09:38 PM
 
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My mom found some plant based hand sanitizer and I keep that in my diaper bag. I've been making people use it before they touch my newborn. I also use it if I can't get to a sink after a diaper change or after doing something in public...

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#6 of 109 Old 05-03-2009, 09:39 PM
 
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We don't use it because I won't live in fear. And, the good/bad germ thing. And the questionable chemicals. And the dreadful smell. And that it's antibacterial qualities do not last long enough to expose anyone I love to it. And it's prevalence makes me question it. And I believe in water more than some faky chemical thing.
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#7 of 109 Old 05-03-2009, 09:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbgrace View Post

Most people use hand sanitizer on hands...you don't have that as an option at all??
I forgot.. that's why I like adding 'other' (I didn't really think people would use it anywhere but hands though- that was more of a "I love it and don't mind at all" option) Sorry!

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#8 of 109 Old 05-03-2009, 09:52 PM
 
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I clicked "never", and then realized I do sometimes use it at the farm, after petting the goats and rabbits. We wash our hands, but sometimes one of the kids will bolt, and I have to catch up and don't have time to wash my hands...so I'll use a dab of the hand sanitizer. This is very rare, though...half dozen time a year, tops.

I don't like them...but I don't really try to avoid viruses or bacteria, either. I have no basis for it, but I've always felt that my immune system exists to be used...not circumvented.

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#9 of 109 Old 05-03-2009, 09:52 PM
 
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DH uses it regularly, as he works in a lab with animals.

We all used it when DS's eczema was infected.

DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.

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#10 of 109 Old 05-03-2009, 09:53 PM
 
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Very, very occasionally- like recently I stayed in a cabin in the woods with no running water. I used a bit of hand sanitizer after using the outhouse late at night, when I didn't want to use any of my precious water on hand washing.

But otherwise, no. I firmly believe in hand-washing, but think that in non-exceptional circumstances, sanitizer is overkill.

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#11 of 109 Old 05-03-2009, 09:57 PM
 
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I picked other. I definitely don't like using anti-bacterial products - ever. And I don't ever have alcohol based hand sanitizer on me. I occasionally buy it for something like a camping trip, but that hasn't happened since DD was born. If we are someplace that concerns me and hand sanitizer is available, we'll use it. But, it's not something I freak out about at all. I'm sure most people think I'm completely irresponsible, but my kid's never sick and we're not germophobes...it's just not a worry for me.
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#12 of 109 Old 05-03-2009, 09:58 PM
 
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Generally, no, but sometimes if I'm in the hopistal or something and I haven't washed my hands, or in a port-o-potty. I think it has it's uses but I don't use it more than a few times a year.

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#13 of 109 Old 05-03-2009, 09:59 PM
 
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We use it on our hands (never anywhere else) when we can't wash. Washing hands is the first choice if possible, regular (not the anti-bacterial) wipes are the second choice, but there are times when we can't use soap and I've forgotten wipes. For example, hiking and we're about to eat... we might be able to rinse our hands off, but not wash them. I keep it around for such times. Dd uses it at school.
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#14 of 109 Old 05-03-2009, 10:03 PM
 
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I don't use antibacterial stuff with triclosan, but I have an alcohol hand sanitizer in my bag for emergencies (portapotties, when I blow a sick kid's nose in public, etc.) I'm normally a plain soap-and-water gal.

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#15 of 109 Old 05-03-2009, 10:04 PM
 
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Never. Yuck.

I do, however, wipe down the shopping cart handle with those anticbacterial wipes.

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#16 of 109 Old 05-03-2009, 10:07 PM
 
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My dad uses it ALL the time, so my kids get it when they are with him, they think it is fun and call it hanitizer. But never any other time. The fumes from it make me ill and I don't like the whole anti-bacterial thing. We use plain ol' soap at home.

Oh, and if you do like it but want something more natural, here is a herbal one http://www.cleanwelltoday.com/ I tried some from the WFM. Still had a funky smell but better than Purell.

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#17 of 109 Old 05-03-2009, 10:09 PM
 
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I don't use it. Most diseases like colds and the flu are airborne anyway, meaning you can wash your hands until they're raw and it won't keep you from getting sick (I'm really, really not following how people think washing their hands will keep them from getting the flu ). If bathing yourself in anti-bacterial everything made a bit of difference, the people I know who are constantly sanitizing stuff wouldn't get sick ten times more often that I do (I don't use anti-bacterial anything--I have an immune system, after all).

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#18 of 109 Old 05-03-2009, 10:18 PM
 
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In general I cannot stand the stuff. It dries out my hands and smells gross. But I do keep a tiny bottle in my purse for emergencies and when camping at music festivals. The port-o-jons at festivals are too small for me to go in with dd and I try REALLY HARD not to think about what she might touch in them! So, if there is not a hand washing station, I will use it on all of us. We also frequently travel though very rural areas where the gas station bathroom sinks are dirtier than the toilet.....
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#19 of 109 Old 05-03-2009, 10:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwinsTwicePlusTwo View Post
(I'm really, really not following how people think washing their hands will keep them from getting the flu ). ).

why to wash hands
basically, people cough in their hands (or in the environment), and flu virus ends up in the environment--we touch it with our hands, and then touch our mouths, noses, eyes.

I don't use hand sanitizers, except in the very occasional pinch when no running water or plain wipes are available, and someone has some to offer (I don't own any). Dd refuses to use it for sensory reasons.
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#20 of 109 Old 05-03-2009, 10:21 PM
 
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We do if we are out and can't wash our hands but generally we try to wash with soap.

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#21 of 109 Old 05-03-2009, 10:22 PM
 
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Sure, w use hand sanitizer. I find it very convenient when we've gone to the play area at the YMCA, children's museum, petting area at the zoo. We use it on hands only (I'm not really sure whats up with the "hands feet face" option: does anyone actually do that?).

As for the scents and ingredients and such...I make my own. You need at least 60% alcohol to sanitize. I keep 95% ethyl (grain) alcohol (Everclear brand) on hand for my herbal tincture making. It is quite easy to mix about 75 % Everclear with 25% distilled water and a little blended aloe and vegetable glycerin to make a nice, scent free sanitizer. If I want I can add a little essential oil for a fragrance, but i usually leave it unscented. I store it in a little metal spray bottle. I keep one in my backpack and one in my car. Its cheap, natural, i know all the ingredients, and lasts indefinitely.
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#22 of 109 Old 05-03-2009, 10:33 PM
 
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When handwashing isn't convenient.

I like Burt's Bees.

We though are way more fond of handwashing with a mild soap.
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#23 of 109 Old 05-03-2009, 10:40 PM
 
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I use it when necessary, but I definitely prefer soap and water.

Before last week, I mostly only bought it for trips abroad where I didn't know what would be available. I did use it occasionally at my old job, mostly because I was a first-responder in my office building, and sometimes needed to stay closer than the bathroom would allow.

Last week with the flu, I had DH buy three bottles. We keep one in each car, and one at my desk at work.

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#24 of 109 Old 05-03-2009, 11:21 PM
 
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I voted "other." I can't stand the feel and smell of the stuff, and I do think that generally some exposure to bacteria is an important part of immunity. That said, I am currently sick as a dog, and I had to go into work last night and very early this morning during times when not too many folks were around in order to get some stuff set up. I brought in little bottles of hand sanitizer, and left them there for everyone, and then I used the stuff constantly during my time there in addition to using the sink to wash up when I could. I figure it's the least I can do.

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#25 of 109 Old 05-03-2009, 11:47 PM
 
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We do at the zoo after petting animals and when we're at the beach when there isn't any soap to wash your hands with.

Unfortunately, ds' school uses it before lunch because it's much faster than taking them all to the bathroom. I wish they'd do soap and water.

I'm not afraid of it, but I think it's too harsh.

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#26 of 109 Old 05-03-2009, 11:53 PM
 
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I don't like it, personally, so we don't generally use it. But it's what's available at most of the petting zoos/aquariums we've been to. I use it there. DDs school uses it daily. They call it "magic soap." I think it contributes to resistant bacteria and it's one of the minor reasons I'm glad we'll be homeschooling next year.

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#27 of 109 Old 05-03-2009, 11:59 PM
 
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I use it every once in a while. I will use it if we have been somewhere especially "kiddie" aka jumping place, kids museum, etc. and we didn't get a chance to wash our hands before we left. I will admit since the swine flu I have been using it more - today we were in DC at museums and on the metro and I whipped it out probably 4-5 times? But usually once week or every few weeks or so. I tend to just wipe DD's hands down with a baby wipe. I know that doesn't kill bacteria but I am going to guess it wipes some of them off.

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#28 of 109 Old 05-04-2009, 12:01 AM
 
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I reserve it for very special occasions. Like camping if there aren't sinks and soap available (for after pottying). I can't think of another situation, but I know there are a couple more probably. Just anytime that water and soap are not available I guess. So we probably use it...1-3 times a year?

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#29 of 109 Old 05-04-2009, 12:01 AM
 
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I carry some in the diaper bag to use in situations when I can't wash my hands (like if I change a poopy diaper in the car etc. etc.). We generally use some before eating if we're out. My dh is a bit germaphobic. Me, not so much. I don't see a problem with it...it's just rubbing alcohol, right? And that's been used for disinfectant forever, not like it's some new scary thing creating super-strains of bacteria.

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#30 of 109 Old 05-04-2009, 12:27 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angie7 View Post
We do if we are out and can't wash our hands but generally we try to wash with soap.
Ditto. An example of this...there is a pertussis outbreak happening in my city and 2 of my 3 children are not vaccinated against pertussis. Me and one of those children had to go shopping today and use a germ infested cart from a place that does not have the little wipes to wipe off the handle. Because I had to take the cart all the way to my car and I wasn't going to risk taking those germs home on my hands, my son and I used hand sanitizer--it's made for kids and is a little more natural and has a good smell to it. Obviously since I don't have plumbing in my car, washing my hands and my son's hands wasn't an option. :

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