Added to many back to school lists is something that wasn’t on there when we were kids –
hand sanitizer. Remember when we used soap and water when our hands were dirty? Now it’s common place to use hand sanitizer in lieu of or in addition to the more traditional method of keeping small hands clean.
The Problem with Hand Sanitizer is Three-Fold
One, it’s being relied on more and more, almost like an addiction for some. Our bodies were built to NEED germs – that’s how we build up our immunity and resistance. In addition, the sanitizer is killing the good bacteria that keep the disease-causing bacteria at bay. In fact, a 2011 study by the Centers for Disease Control found that healthcare workers who routinely used hand sanitizers increased their risk of developing norovirus by almost 600 percent.
Two, we are creating “super bugs,” whereas some of the bacteria are becoming resistant to these sanitizers AND to antibiotics due to the ingredients in the sanitizers, making it difficult to kill off the bacteria when someone is actually sick from them.
Three, the chemicals in these mainstream sanitizers are often worse for us than the germs we are trying to protect ourselves from, being linked to cancer, disrupting hormones and killing brain cells, as found by a 2014 study by the American Chemical Society.
How to Avoid Hand Sanitizer in Schools
- Write a note to the teacher asking that your child not be permitted to use the hand sanitizer provided in the classroom. Instead, simply ask that the child be able to wash his/her hands when needed.
- Provide a safer alternative to the hand sanitizer. We have a great recipe below that doesn’t contain antibacterials that cause super bugs and that doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals.
A Safe Hand Sanitizer Recipe
Here at My Green Mattress we like to ‘DIY’ when we can, so that we know exactly what goes into the products that we use in our homes. That’s one reason why we started making organic mattresses ourselves. Here’s a recipe that we like:
- 1/2 cup pure Aloe Vera gel
- 20 drops orange essential oil
- 15 drops tea tree essential oil
- 10 drops lavender essential oil
Mix all ingredients and store them in any kind of small container that allows for easy use by a child.
*Please note that we are not medical professionals. This article is meant to highlight the issues that many are finding with hand sanitizers and to provide our favored alternative. If you have similar concerns, speak to your physician.