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Toys in the Doctor's Waiting Room

Earlier this week, I wrote about how sick my kids have been lately and the overuse of antibiotics. And admittedly how I sort of wish I had some.

I have a huge pet peeve about going to the pediatrician's office. I am convinced that for every well baby and cough I head in there for, I'm going to leave with something about a million times worse.

As I get out my wallet for my co-pay, my daughter almost always busts a move to play with the toys in the doctor's office. This is before we even take a seat next to the worse for the wear looking toddlers and hacking teenagers in the waiting room. Nothing good can come of the push car that was played with earlier by a kid with pink eye, another kid with the stomach flu, a kid with a rash and a possible pneumonia kid. Each time I see her get there before I can offer one of our own toys, books, snacks, or even my cell phone to keep her away from this germ pile, I inwardly cringe and yank out my hand sanitizer to squirt her down before they call our name.

Turns out my fears are justified. In a study of toys in a pediatrician's office, some from the well-child room (which our office does not have), some from the sick room, and some from the "new toy" bag, the overall report was that 20% of toys were contaminated, even after a "cleaning" had occurred, and in some cases, the cleaning had actually caused a clean toy to become contaminated. While I'm not an official scientist, I would imagine that offices without a well-child room would have an even higher contaminated outcome. Are insurance companies delivering these toys to doctor's offices as a conspiracy to help keep the co-pays rolling in?

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Personally I'd be happy to see these toys disappear all together. The wait is not that long, immune systems are already lowered in there, my bag ALWAYS has something entertaining in it, whether I'm aware it's in there or not, and why spread around any extra germ love? Do you really want to come back for something new?

What do you think? Keep or lose the toys?

Image from Critters and Crayons

Image from Critters and Crayons


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