If you or your child has used the restroom during a visit here at our Westport office, you may have noticed that instead of soap and paper towels or air dryers, we have alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Why, with the press about the possible negative effects of over-using hand cleansers, would Willows Pediatrics have these in our office?
The first reason is a practical one. When we originally opened our offices at 1563 Post Road East we did in fact, stock the restrooms with soap and paper towels. Unfortunately, young children repeatedly dropped the towels into the toilets and we had clogs on a regular basis. We considered getting air dryers, but had to rule those out due to the fact that our hearing and vision testing rooms are located adjacent to the restrooms and the noise would interfere with the hearing tests.
So, with our options limited, we opted for hand sanitizers. The good news is that we no longer have clogged toilets … and we also are completely comfortable with the safety and efficacy of the products in our restrooms. While it may be true that over-use of antibacterial products can lead to bacterial resistance, the alcohol-based cleansers we have at our offices are safe and effective for our patients and their families. One published report on this topic recently stated: “hand sanitizers can be used safely, with supervision, and the potential for benefits by reduced illness transmission likely outweighs potential for toxicity from accidental ingestion. We know you will be supervising your younger children, and do not believe children are at risk of an accidental ingestion using our restrooms. So, enjoy the upcoming winter and if you would like to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact us!