The Best Hand Sanitizer Picks
Get the nitty-gritty on these instant germ fighters, and find the best options for your little squirt.
Do They Beat Soap and Water?
No. Hand sanitizers kill many germs, but they may not remove dirt and grime, which can trap bacteria. So if you’ve dug in
a sandbox or changed a diaper, there’s stuff clinging to your hands that a sanitizer won’t take away. Don’t just rub on a
sanitizer and go on your merry way. To cleanse fully, you need to scrub and rinse, says Peter N. Wenger, M.D., a pediatric-infectious-disease
specialist in New Jersey.
So Why Would I Use One?
Sanitizers are helpful in a pinch—for instance, if you can’t wash your child’s hands before an on-the-go snack. (If possible, wipe his hands first with a damp cloth to get rid of surface dirt.) But you don’t need to apply one every time your kid touches a railing. “Exposure to germs allows immune systems to develop in a healthy way,” says Jessica Krant, a dermatologist in New York City. “Oversanitizing can lead to more serious infections and even allergies later on.”
So maybe you can’t change your health overnight. But you can get a head start.