Monday, 25 February 2019

Where Are We Most Exposed To Germs?

Ever since I can remember, I've always had a bit of an issue with germs.

Now before you go thinking "Well sure, nobody is exactly a fan of germs!" let me just explain that what I mean is...I've always been somewhat preoccupied with germs, to the point that I was actually diagnosed with OCD last year. 

It shouldn't really have come as a shock to me, as when I think back over the sorts of behaviours I've exhibited over the years - it's always been a part of me. When I was a child, I remember obsessing over the fact that if I used the same cutlery that other people had used - then it meant that my food was essentially touching the germs from their mouths.

It didn't matter how much my mum told me that it was fine as long as the cutlery had been washed, I just couldn't shake the thought of how gross that was! And so...for YEARS...I would only ever eat from one particular fork in our house.

There were a couple of occasions when I'd discover that MY fork had accidentally been used by another family member, and I would have to leave it sitting in a jug of boiling water for an hour or so until I was certain that the germs had been cleansed away.

So I said...germs have always been a real phobia of mine!

I recently came across this study on the most common places we're exposed to germs on a daily basis - and I was pretty shocked by the results!

Credit: Brosch Direct

I would never have thought that our toothbrushes expose us to more germs than a toilet flush does!

However, as someone who absolutely refuses to touch remote controls in hotel rooms much to the constant mockery from my other half, I'm pleased to see that I'm not wrong about them carrying germs and will certainly be showing him this to prove my point!

Thankfully, although I do still have some issues around germs, the phobia has reduced as I've grown up - but one thing I wasn't really prepared for was just how completely unaware of germs children are!

Going out and about with my three little ones is a REAL test of my nerves when it comes to germs - my children have no issue at all with doing things that my make my skin crawl. Licking tables in public places, licking walls and windows (there's such a lot of licking that goes on with my toddlers, please tell me they're not the only ones!), dropping food under tables in restaurants and retrieving it - shoving it into their mouths before I have a chance to grab it! The list is endless...

And although in a way, this has probably been strangely beneficial to me in helping me to let go of my fear a little more by demonstrating to me that although germs are not pleasant, that if my children can survive eating floor-fries then it's not AS big of a deal as I thought it was....I do still like to try to exert some control over the situation.

For example, we often go on holidays to places that have a high turnover of people such as Disneyland Paris - and every time, I make sure that I always pack at least 3 tubes of anti bacterial gel. 

I carry it with me everywhere, and I make sure that the boys all use it regularly and especially before they eat anything at all. I'm not sure how much it helps, but it certainly helps to ease my anxiety a little!

How do you handle the issue of germs with children? I'd love to hear any tips you have!

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