Tuesday, November 10, 2009

BEFORE YOU REACH FOR THE HAND SANITIZIER…


Or antibacterial soap, think twice. As I mentioned in a previous post, antibacterial soaps contain an ingredient called Triclosan. Did you know that Triclosan is a pesticide? CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

Triclosan is known to weaken the immune system, not something you want to do during flu season. Your goal should be to strengthen your immune system since it is that very system which will keep the flu at bay or make you strong enough to make it through if you do manage to catch the virus.

Triclosan can cause birth defects and uncontrolled cell growth. Not only will you find this in your soaps and sanitizers but it is also in some brands of toothepaste, cosmetics, deoderants, etc… ALWAYS CHECK THE LABEL!

But what if Tricolan isn’t the active ingredient, such as in hand sanitizing gel? Most hand sanitizers contain 60-90% ethyl or isopropyl alcohol. If they don’t contain the high percentage they aren’t affective at killing bacteria. The main danger associated with hand sanitizers is ingestion by children. Not just a small child drinking it but an older child using the gel before lunch, touching their food and than ingesting it. It has also been reported that children who have licked their hands after using a hand sanitizer have become gravely ill.

READ SANJE GUPTA OF CNN's OPINION ON THIS

Alcohol also dries the skin. I don’t know about the rest of you but the last thing I want to do is have my kids use a product that dries their hands out when we already live in a climate that is very drying in the winter months.

READ THE INFO AT OSHA ON THE DANGERS OF ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL

What alternative do you have when it comes to protecting your kids from the flu? There are three great ways of staying healthy through the flu season (in no particular order):

#1 - Frequent hand washing. This is the best way to avoid viruses. Wash your hands often using soap and water.

#2 - Strengthen your immune system: Reduce your sugar intake. Get good rest. Avoid stress. Exercise. Eat lots of healthy fruits and vegetables, especially garlic and onions. If you aren’t getting enough vitamin C than take a supplement.

#2 - Create your own antibacterial hand sanitizer. Anne Marie from Brambleberry has some antibacterial recipes on her blog using antimicrobials like cinnamon or antivirals like tea tree. NOTE: Cinnamon bark oil is an irritant and sensitizer, if used topically it must be used at no more than than 0.1% CLICK HERE FOR RECIPES

Other antivirals include: lavender, melissa, lime, lemon
Other antimicrobials: lemon, rosemary, myrrh
Other antibacterial: neroli, melissa, lime, lemon

My own children use a mixture of EO’s in a spray bottle and use it on their hands and face throughout the day at school. A colorful bottle with a great blend of EO’s makes for a child eager to use whatever is created.

NOTE: Make sure the EO's you use and the dilution rate is safe if your creation is for children, elderly, pregnant women, or those with particular health issues.