We often consider the toilet as the grossest place in our home with the most germs.
We are very cautious when it comes to its maintenance and, of course, we never forget to wash hands after using it.
However, recent research has found that a lot of items and places at home have more germs than the toilet seat. These nasty spots include the kitchen sink, the bathtub, the remote control and most recently, your kid’s car seat.
On average the toilet seat provides a comfy home to about 50 different types of bacteria.
If you think that’s a lot, hold on to something, because the number of fungi and bacteria found on children’s car seats will make you cringe – 100 different types.
According to researchers at Birmingham University, who examined more than 20 car seats, the number is alarming and what makes matters worse is that in a relatively small sample, researchers came across salmonella and E Coli too.
According to Dr Anne-Marie Krachler from the Institute of Microbiology and Infection at the University of Birmingham, these pose serious dangers to the health of the entire family.
But before you label your kid as utterly gross, let me explain these findings since the fault is more likely “in our stars”.
We spend a lot more time at home and we put in more effort when it comes to scrubbing our bathroom. We are far more likely to neglect our car in favour of our home.
According to statistics people don’t believe their cars can be germy and harmful to their health. Actually nearly 60% of participants reported they clean thoroughly the inside of their cars just once a year.
Surely no one wants 100 different types of bacteria near their children. Here are a few steps to take to prevent cross-contamination, food poisoning, rashes, conjunctivitis and other serious infections.
- Keep a garbage bag in your car and throw it away on a daily basis. Don’t allow garbage and clutter to linger in your car.
- Vacuum clean the interior. This will remove small particles, food, dust mites and crumbs.
- Steam-clean any non-leather interior often. This will eliminate bacteria, fungi and dust mites that linger in the fibres of the interior. Leather may shrink, so consult professionals before attempting anything on leather upholstery.
- Surely the parts of the kid’s car seat can be disassembled and cleaned separately. Well… It is not going to clean itself, you know…
- Introduce a new rule – no food and drinks in the car. Water is an exception. Even if you are travelling long distance, surely you can make a quick stop and eat properly at a cafe, or a petrol station. It is much healthier and you will ensure no food will end up between the seats.
- Remember that the interior of your car is essential for the vehicle’s market value. No one will want a car used as a dumping ground.
Hopefully this was helpful and not too scary.
It isn’t possible to shield your children from all bacteria, but next time your kid touches the car seat and puts his or her fingers in their mouth you might be glad you wiped it clean beforehand.