It doesn’t take long once you become a parent to realize how dirty kids can be. When fellow mom and microbiology lab tech Tasha Sturm decided to test how germ-y her own kiddos hands were in 2015, she was in for a surprise.

The picture you’re about to see may look like a sweet, Pinterest-worthy craft but in reality, it’s a depiction of all the bacteria on your kid’s hand! After a romp in the backyard and a few pets of the family dog, Sturm had her son place his hand in a sterile Petri dish—and results are downright horrifying and yet, still kind of pretty, too.

Source: American Society for Microbiology

Sturm allowed the Petri dish to sit at body temperature for 24 hours, then set it out at room temperature for a week before taking the photo you see above. The result is a conglomeration of various types of bacteria, which could be bacillus, staph or yeast.

So why is this photo from four years ago making the rounds? Well, now that spring is here it’s highly likely the entire family will be spending ample time outdoors—and coming into contact with all sorts of substances. This is a perfect reminder that proper hand-washing technique never goes out of style

In addition to keeping hands clean before things like eating and after using the restroom, Sturm also takes the time to remind us that the skin does a wonderful job of serving as a natural barrier. Despite the importance of practicing good hygiene, being exposed to certain types of bacteria is actually a good thing for the body, because it helps improve your immune system.

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The final takeaway? Let your kids play in the dirt all they want—and just make sure those adorable hands and fingers are squeaky clean before sitting down for dinner.

––Karly Wood

Feature photo: Sharon McCutcheon via Pexels

 

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