How dirty are your kids' shoes?
Julie Wolfson: Every since I read Jen Carlson's story on Gothamist, "Flip Flop Your Way to an Early Grave" that alerted me to the NY Daily News story, "Flip-Flops Are a Magnet for Dangerous, Deadly Bacteria," I have been trying to block it out of my mind. As a mom, I try so hard to do everything I can to keep my kids healthy without become a paranoid germ-phobe.
As I read these articles, I looked down to discover that I was wearing flip-flops. I thought of the times I ask my children to put on their flip-flops so I could take them to the bathroom at the beach. Should I make them wear boots when they have a cut on their foot? And what about our shoes? What are we tracking into the house?
In the NY Daily News article, two reporters wore flip-flops around New York City for four days. Tests of their footwear revealed potentially deadly germ -- Staphylococcus aureus. The Daily News asked Dr. Philip M. Tiemo Jr., the director of clinical microbiology and immunology at New York University's Langone Medical Center, about their findings. "There's more bacteria in the city," he says. "There's garbage and rat-doo. This city is strewn with rats, and rats are harbingers of all sorts of germs. The same is true with cockroaches. It is all potentially harmful."
So what about my city and the places I take my kids? Now that the images of bacteria monsters eating my kids' feet are swimming in my head, I am having a very hard time enjoying looking at my kids' cute little toes. The question is: What will I say the next time I hear, "Mommy, I want to wear my flip-flops"?