Germaphobia

March 17, 2009

 

Image credit: Redbook

Image credit: Redbook

Before I start on what I really want to say I want to put out a disclaimer: I do not purposely expose my child to germs nor do I want him to get sick.  Ok, now that we have that settled: what is with people’s absolute paranoia about germs?! Germaphobia (which is technically called Misophobia), especially with parents of children, is out of control! 

I spent the morning with some friends and their babies.  We went out for a walk, ended up at a coffee shop, chatting, hanging out, etc.  It then got to be about time to leave and one friend invited us back to her place.  I said, thanks but that I needed to head home for naptime, etc.  The other parent said, “has anyone been sick at your house?”

Similarly, I was at a party this past weekend with a lot of kids under the age of 2.  They were all playing happily with some blocks and a deck of playing cards.  But there was one mom who wouldn’t let her kid touch any of the toys other kids were touching and whenever he picked up a polluted playing card would replace it with his own toy car.  I didn’t break it to her that other kids had played with his toy car- why add the to anxiety… 

Now I am all for protecting newborns and I’m all for trying to avoid colds, etc.  But at some point your kid is going to get a cold, is going to eat some dirt, is going to suck on a toy that some other kid has just sucked on, you name it, they are going to do it.  So it seems to me that a better course of action would be to minimize exposure to really serious germs as much as possible but other than that just chill out.  In the end, which is worse, your kid picking up and internalizing your anxiety or a couple stuffy noses along the way?

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One Response to “Germaphobia”

  1. Sandra Says:

    LOL… there are some winners out there. We love our dirt and germs here. No antibacterial products are allowed in this house. Nothing for the (four) babies was ever “sterilized”, the dishwasher is just fine.

    And I can count on one hand the amount of times any of my four has gone to the doctor for an illness.

    Germs are GOOD. People that don’t believe it are the sickest and the most vunerable to infections. Those, however, are also the people that are creating superviruses by getting antibiotics every time they sneeze! 🙂


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