I have observed parents either superimpose preexisting hyper-hygienic habits onto their children or adopt them around birth. I see pump dispensers of hand sanitizer in bathrooms, near changing tables and in kitchens. I see vibrantly colored holders for attaching small bottles to purses and bags. All these are attempts to protect the child. Having come from an age of latch-key children, jumping off swings at their apex at woodchip covered playgrounds, and games of dodgeball, I believe maintaining a continual, impregnable sterile bubble around a child is impractical and implies a detrimental need to control. Life is messy and dirty. (Oh so many future topics here–physical, emotional, spiritual, health wise, etc). Healthy immune systems are not built in a vacuum or by immunizations alone; spit up and overfilled diapers happen. Alas there is a literal point of balance between sterile and squalor each parent needs to find in providing a healthy and sanitary life. If you find yourself at either extreme, there may be value in digging deeper and understanding what drives it.
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