If you and your family have summer travel plans, keeping toothbrushes clean can go a long way in preventing illness. Pediatrician Karl Neumann explains the ways kids’ toothbrushes can make them sick, especially when they travel. For example:

Germs that cause upper respiratory and intestinal illnesses thrive on toothbrushes. Moisture from saliva, food particles, cellular matter derived from gums, and high humidity in bathrooms create a favorable culture medium for organisms to grow. Storing toothbrushes in toilet kits, some airtight, impedes drying, allowing organisms to multiply even more rapidly.

Children tend to place their toothbrushes on sink counters. Unless counters are optimally disinfected they are hotbeds for organisms, contaminated from water splattered by washing oneself or from unsanitary objects placed there, possibly even dirty diapers. Keep sink surfaces clean and dry; bathroom humidity keeps counters wet for prolonged periods. Toothbrushes should be placed on a clean washcloth or on tissue until rinsed and dry.

Toothbrushes and sink countertops may be contaminated from toilets. Flushing propels organisms into the air. Close toilet lid before flushing. Hand washing before and after brushing teeth further increases the level of cleanliness.



Everyone in my family, including me, has been guilty of this one:

Young children tend to use the toothbrush easiest to reach, often not their own. Away from home it may be a new toothbrush, making it more difficult for children to identify which one is theirs. Have children choose a toothbrush in their favorite color for the trip.


Read more ways your child’s toothbrush can make them sick when they are on vacation at kidstraveldoc.com here.


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