There are certain things they should just issue to you when you leave the hospital with your first baby, because chances are good that if you never, ever used these things before, you'll suddenly find them indispensable. And top on that list would be the little purse-sized bottle of hand sanitizer we all seem to carry around (I have not one but two in my purse as I type this). More than 50 percent of people carry a bottle in their purse or briefcase, and I would be willing to bet that a significant amount of those people are moms.
Most of us know hand sanitizer is no substitute for a good hand-washing, but after your kid has been picking up every piece of dirt or God-knows-what on the street a quick swipe with baby wipes (another thing we all carry) and rubdown with hand sanitizer can give us peace of mind.
Bad news, ladies: Hand sanitizer works for far less time than we might think. How much less?
Two minutes. Two measly little minutes. Just enough time for the alcohol to fully evaporate. Once you touch anything else, your hands are fully recontaminated again. Most of us think they last for up to an hour.
So, yeah, there's nothing for it but to scrub up ... and when that's not an option, the "wipes followed by hand sanitizer" trick is probably best. That, and praying to whatever higher power you choose that your kids don't put their germy little hands anywhere near their eyes, nose or mouth ... or yours.
Image via Andrew Braithwaite/Flickr