You sanitise your toddler’s hands many times a day. Are you hurting his immune system because he’s too “clean”?
The use of sanitisers has been increasing in recent years, mainly due to outbreaks of hand, foot and mouth disease.
“It is good to clean your child’s hands whenever you feel he may have come into contact with germs that could make him sick,” says Dr Chan Poh Chong, the head and senior consultant with the Division of General Ambulatory Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at National University Hospital.
This is especially so for toddlers who have little regard for cleanliness and it’s unlikely that over-sanitising his hands will weaken his immunity.
“But don’t stop him from playing outdoors – coming into contact with germs and bacteria will generally not harm him if he is healthy,” Dr Chan reminds. “It’s not necessary to sterilise everything at home, either.”