Letting Go of the Hands


August 18, 2011 by themommahen


Having sent Hatchling#1 to preK last year, I already know I have to give up some control as a parent when sending a child to school. So what am I struggling with today, the day before she starts kindergarten? (Yes, we’re almost done with these posts. But remember, I have two more to wax poetic about as they come of age!) The food she eats? That was yesterday. We’ll be packing her lunch most days, but there is a community afternoon snack that is provided by the parents. And to be fair, the kids have a choice between two snacks. And to be even more fair, the teacher did give out a list of preferred healthier snacks. But to be honest, a lot of those snacks aren’t what I give my kids. Going back to the fair side though, some of this is just life, and while I may not agree 100% with what H#1’s snacks may be this year, it’s not like my kids don’t eat fast food (twice this week, I’m ashamed to admit — lots of errands during mealtimes) or eat chips or candy, and I’m pretty sure that the snacks people bring in will be better than those three things, based on the list.

So no, not food. Behavior? Schedule? I’m  somewhat prepared for, or at least expectant of, the challenges that pop up with those things. No, today, it’s antibacterial soap and hand sanitizer. On every back to school list there it is — antibacterial hand soap. Not just hand soap. Antibacterial. Which usually means Triclosan. And as you know, this Momma Hen worries about chemicals that have a buzz about them like Triclosan does.

But I have to credit the husband with being even ahead of me on this one. Years ago, before we even had kids, I had picked up some pretty plastic bottles with a nice design, yummy fragrances (before I knew about phthalates, parabens and all the other no-nos) and pretty little beads in them. Scrubbing beads, I think they were called. He took one look at it, read the word “Antibacterial” and said “This stuff is bad shit.”

I had no idea what he was talking about. He started explaining that there was a developing buzz about antibacterial soaps and how they actually may contribute to drug-resistant superbugs. And how his sister, who has three hatchlings who were quite young at the time, had banned them from her house. Of course, once he told me about this, I started hearing about it everywhere. So I tried to find just regular soap. In a pump because it’s less messy and I’m still a big fan of convenience. And it was not easy.

Have you ever looked for non-antibacterial soap somewhere like Wal-Mart or the grocery store? You can, but it’s vastly outnumbered. Of course now after 10 years or whatever it’s been, I know exactly where to find it and I love love love Method brand products. (And for all you Whole Foods shoppers, their 365 brand of products are awesome too — and surprisingly cheap!) But at the time, I think the only brand I could find on a regular basis was Ivory gel soap.

And this week when I walked inside Target and Wal-Mart to do some back-to-school shopping? I was met with a wall of antibacterial pump bottles because it’s on. every. list.

Anyway, I agree that handwashing, particularly at school, is important. I just think that when we’re talking about something that has a chemical in it that Canada’s health organizations have recommended avoiding and the FDA is reviewing, we might want to be a little cautious about using it. Or at least join in on asking companies such as Bath & Body Works to consider pulling it out of their products. But in the big scheme of things, my mom reminded me this morning that this may be another thing I have to let go of. Her words?

In the most loving way possible, “Get over it.”

Photo Credit: Flickr.com

3 thoughts on “Letting Go of the Hands

  1. Anonymous says:

    Gotta love your mom!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I am surprised that they ask for antibacterial soap. I’m with Dan on that one. As for hand sanitizer, its mostly alcohol, which acts in a completely different way to “kill germs.” Best of luck to Hatchling #1 (and you!) as she begins this new adventure.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I worked for BBW for many years (almost 7). Triclosan was the tiny blue beads in their hand gels, lotions, and possibly other antibacterial products. At the time, we were told it was so much better than alcohol because it had a continuing germ fighting effect without the drying nature of alcohol.
    A few years ago, a friend of mine with thyroid disease shared with me an article she’d read: it called out triclosan as a link to thyroid disease.
    That was enough for me!
    My hubby has always hated A/B soaps, and in fact, I buy him his own Soft Soap without A/B components (while the rest of us use those automatic Lysol soap dispensers). I am certainly starting to see his point!
    You will be happy to know, BBW’s A/B handgel does not contain triclosan anymore and has not for at least 6 months. That’s the only reason I own any!
    Also, beware other body products! I used a facial cleanser for oily skin (produced by Avon) only to realize it had Triclosan in it. AND, BTW, so does a toothpaste I saw recently (maybe Colgate?).
    Guess we have to read ALL labels these days to be safe.
    And I’ll be getting new soap dispensers for my house – just as soon as finish the soap we have! I can’t bring myself to waste it – LOL!

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