Should shopping carts be sanitized?

Filed under: Babies, Toddlers Preschoolers, Health & Safety: Babies, Chores

Just how dangerous are shopping carts to kids? It depends on who you ask.

Shopping carts have become the next battleground in the war on germs. Grocery stores now offer antibacterial wipes and disposable covers for shopping cart handles, while parents can also lug in cotton covers that prevent their baby from ever actually having contact with the shopping cart their riding in.

New technology offers retailers another option -- a sort of car wash for carts. For a mere(!) $700 a month, retailers can lease a system that sanitizes the whole cart.

But is all this flurry and worry really necessary? One study found that infants who ride in a cart next to packages of raw poultry and meat are at an increased risk of developing salmonella. But other pediatricians say that all this fear over germs can actually backfire. Kids need to be exposed to germs and bacteria to build up a healthy immune system.

Because both of my girls are healthy and don't have any chronic health issues, I've never given shopping carts a second thought. We wash our hands on a regular basis, but we don't use any anti-bacterial products or shopping cart covers. But I see plenty of moms who do. Where do you stand on this issue?

Do you wipe down or cover your shopping cart?
Yes. You can never be too careful.212 (47.4%)
No. But we wash our hands after we've been at the store.191 (42.7%)
Other -- share with us in comments.44 (9.8%)

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.