Or else the doctor's office could make your kid sicker.
We've always been a little freaked out by that sticky wooden abacus that seems to be in every pediatrician's waiting room. Our kids are drawn to it like magnets, while we frantically try to pull them away: "Look at this pretty butterfly in this March 2002 Family Circle, Sally!" But we never knew if we were just being paranoid or had cause for concern. So we asked friend of momlogic Dr. Gwenn to weigh in on those waiting room toys. Are they fun or infectious (literally)?
Dr. Gwenn says: "CNN ran a story last week with a very catchy headline: 'Don't Let a Hospital Kill You.' Any guesses what the writer's top tips were? You guessed it: 'Bring your own toys' and 'Stay off the floors.'"
"As a pediatrician, this came as no surprise to me. Germs (bacterial and viruses) stick like glue to toys, books, and floors until the cleaning crew comes through with a good bottle of cleaning agent. In medical settings, the cleaning crew for waiting rooms and exam rooms is often the medical staff. And, because they're busy with patient care, those areas tend to only get straightened (but not necessarily disinfected).
Bring some distraction toys and books in your purse, and pull them out when necessary. That's the best way to get your kids through the visit and away from the germ hot spots. And make sure everyone's butt is on a seat and off the floor at all times. Your kids' days of 'hide and seek' under the waiting room chairs must end. The germs are there just waiting to be found ... and--trust me--that is one game you do not want your kids to win!"