Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hand Washing Saves Lives

You are probably thinking, what kind of a title is that? Handwashing saves lives? I know it sounds a little crazy, but it is very true.

One of the most important things you can do to help prevent a child with severe food allergies from having an allerigic reaction, is to wash your hands.

However, there are many soaps out on the market now that contain milk ingredients. So it is very important to read the labels on soap to make sure they do not contain an ingredient which could be harmful to your child.

Many people will say to me, well we use hand sanitizer. I think hand sanitizer is great, but, in the case of a child with food allergies it does not help. The hand sanitizer just moves the unsafe foods that person has touched around their hands. But, the food is still there.

For example, if I ate a peanut butter sandwich and then used hand sanitizer, I have moved the peanut butter around my hand. It is still on my hands.

The best thing to do is to wash your hands with soap and water and then use hand sanitizer if you like.

When we don't have access to soap and running water, we use hand sanitizing wipes after going to the store or on bike rides. Hand wipes are wonderful and I take my hat off to the person who thought of this idea. I know it helps me to keep my daughter safe when we are on the go and want to eat a snack on the run.

Of course we have all learned that before eating anything you should wash or wipe your hands. But, especially in the case of a child with food allergies. Who knows what another child may have eaten or touched while walking around a store.

I also encourage our friends and family to not only wash their hands but, to also wash their mouths and even brush their teeth if they can. This is an extra precaution for friends or family members who may be hugging or kissing your child.

In the world of food allergies, you can never be "too" safe. And I am sure many parents would agree with me on this statement.

So rememeber to always wash your hands, it could save a child's life.

Stay well and stay safe.

Debra Denhart

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