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Doctor's Office Toys = Germs

So, which one of us has taken our kids to the pediatrician's office only to have them come down with a cold a few days later? The real question is, have any of us NOT had that happen?

Well, doctors at the University of Virginia have confirmed that some of those toys in the pediatrician's office are germ spreaders. Two doctors, Diane Pappas and Owen Hendley, tested toys in the offices of five pediatricians in Fairfax, Va., three times during last year's cold and flu season, reports The Associated Press.

"Tests showed fragments of cold viruses on 20 percent of all toys tested — 20 percent of those in the "sick child" waiting room, 17 percent in the "well child" waiting room, and 30 percent in a sack of toys that kids are allowed to choose from after being good for a shot."

Looks to me like those "well" waiting rooms aren't so healthy after all.

By Stacey Garfinkle |  October 30, 2008; 1:30 PM ET  | Category:  Health
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I work in a health clinic and see children every day. On my wall is one of those toys with the beads that you move along curvy paths. It is pretty gross to see kids chewing on it, wiping their noses, and sneezing on it in one appointment, and then have more kids come and play with it 20 minutes later. There isn't time to clean it off between appointments. I worked in another clinic with a large ladybug bean bag chair. We nicknamed it the bed of disease.

Posted by: ducky2 | October 30, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Several years ago I was leading a consulting project at the children's hospital in Norfolk. One afternoon we were in a meeting with the director of Radiology, an MD, who offered me some Cheerios. Not wanting to seem rude I started to reach my hand into the box when my colleague, a nurse, slapped my hand and asked if I realized how many drippy-nosed kids had also put their hand in the same box. Made sense to me and it is the same reason why I won't eat nuts from a community bowl at a bar (see Ben Stiller's character in Along Came Polly).

Posted by: skipper7 | October 30, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I took my two kids to the pediatrician's for their flu shots today, and those toys make me nuts too! I had to chase my six-year-old out of the "sick" side twice, and the rest of the time she was either reading the communal books or playing with the toys in the "well" section. Needless to say, as soon as we were shown to the examination room where they were getting their shots, I made her wash her hands in the sink! My 19-month-old had been sitting in her car seat during the whole how-do-you-do, so I simply used hand sanitizer followed by wet wipes on her hands. Public toys...YEEECCH!

Posted by: dragondancer1814 | October 31, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

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