Germ awareness: how phobic are you?


We’re right in the middle of cold and flu season, if you haven’t noticed! Lately, many of our playdates and playgroups have been sparse or missed entirely due to mysterious fevers, coughs, or green snotty noses. I have to admit that I haven’t been the most vigilant about germs, myself. It seems that most of the time I’m trying to keep the kids alive and fed and changed, and I don’t stop to consider whether that thing the baby just put into her mouth has been properly sanitized. Sometimes I just don’t take the extra steps to prevent the spread of germs, but I know many moms who do.

It’s another one of those areas that we differ as moms: how concerned we are about germs when it comes to how our kids live and play? Do we avoid public play areas for fear of germs? Carry around buckets of hand sanitizer? Or do we occasionally allow the stray Cheerio to go right back into the mouth?

To get some perspective on how other moms feel about germs, I asked my fellow Dallas Moms Blog contributors where they fell on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being “obsessively spraying everything with Lysol”. It turns out that, as moms, we can be anywhere along the continuum of germ awareness. While most of us fell between 4-6 (we’re concerned, we try to do hand-washing and wiping things down, but we let things go at times), there were a few who were 7-9.

I learned a lot from the other moms’ responses. I had this theory that moms scoring themselves as very vigilant about germs might be the moms with only one child who had time and energy to disinfect everything. But it turns out, moms with 2 or more children put a lot more thought into than I do. When you’ve got a household of 5 or more and one gets sick, the sickness can cycle through the entire group. With each person being sick 2-3 days, it can take weeks before everyone is in the clear and normal activity can resume. I had never thought of that!

It turns out that taking the time to wash hands, use hand sanitizer, or keep sick children home from activities where they might infect others is not just about the time, but also about consideration of others. As with many other things, no matter how busy we might be, we’ll make time to do the things that are most important to us.

How about you? Where do you fall on the scale and why?



  1. I’d never thought of that either! I always had the assumption that the more kids the less germ-worry there was. But it does make sense! Who wants to be taking care of 3-4 sick kids for weeks on end?? This article might make me a little more germ cautious because I was definitely on the low end of the scale.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here