This month, we have an alert -- this time about the dangers of youngsters playing with toys or handling books in a doctor's office waiting room.
According to the American Academy Of Pediatrics, toys like stuffed animals, are difficult to clean, allowing germs to survive and breed. But even other toys can carry infectious bacteria just because of the sheer number of children who handle them.
The Association has issued guidelines to pediatricians and other doctors about cleaning toys, but it says the safest practice for parents is to bring the child's own toys and books with them to the doctor's office.
Another hygiene tactic is to keep children seated or even in a stroller while in the waiting room to avoid contact with other surfaces in an area where the risk of infection is high. If it looks like there's going to be a long wait, take them outside for a walk.
Hand hygiene is important for everyone -- parents, children and staff -- since germs lurk everywhere in a waiting room, especially on surfaces like tables and door handles. If there's a hand sanitizer, use it.