Posts Tagged ‘inoculate’

Do You Use Shopping Cart Covers?

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

Do You Use Shopping Cart Covers?The shopping cart cover…you know what I’m talking about. The padded little washable covers parents use to cover the kind of icky spot many of us plop our babies in–the baby seat in the shopping cart (or seats, if you’re shopping at Costco with their minivan-shopping cart hybrids).

My sister viewed shopping carts as yet another integral part of her plan to inoculate her kids and build up their immune systems through frequent exposure to the same grubby things our mom probably never noticed as she worked to keep us clothed, fed and alive.

Then there’s me; I was a reluctant cart cover user, having acquired one as a hand-me-down from a kind co-worker (and thus I felt bad not using it). It was nice having the extra padding (especially during winter months when the carts were sometimes cold from being outdoors), but it was a hassle juggling it, my bag, my kids, and any reusable shopping bags or return items or whatever. Plus to be honest, I wondered that if I wasn’t washing it after each use if I was really avoiding any germ exposure at all?

Then there’s the third camp, like my friend, who not only obsessively wiped down every potential touch surface with antibacterial wipes; she also brought her own with her, not trusting the store to always have them out with the carts. And a sub-group of this set is the moms who aren’t interested in their babies being exposed to shopping cart germs OR to Clorox wipe chemicals, and make their own kid-safe essential oil blend germ sprays to do the same.

So what’s the right way? Honestly, I don’t think there is a right answer to this question. What’s right for you may not be what’s right for your neighbor or your brother or–like so much of parenting–you just need to find what works for you and yours. My sister, the one in the first camp, is now studying microbiology on her way to becoming a nurse. I kind of wish she would do a germ study on shopping carts and covers as part of her homework … maybe the little agar petri dishes in her lab could give us a little guidance on this matter.

Meaghan Howard is a stay-at-home mom to two little boys. She’s currently enjoying her boys finally being old enough to not need to go in the shopping cart seat.