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The Top Most Germy Places and Things in Public

What has more fecal bacteria than a toilet? You'll be shocked by the answer

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Updated August 21, 2011

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

What are the most germy places and objects we come into contact with when we are out and about in the world? Some of the germiest are ordinary things that almost all of us touch or encounter nearly every day. They are also things that we might not suspect.

Of course, some germ exposure can actually be a good thing for building up kids' immune systems (and in fact, some studies have suggested that kids who live in too sterile an environment might be at increased risk for allergies). We can't really expect that our kids won't be exposed to germs when we take them out, but we can be aware that where we go to and what we do can expose them to bacteria and viruses. We can also teach kids good hand washing and carry antibacterial wipes or gel if soap and water are not available. And finally, be sure that your child is up to date on her vaccines.

That said, here is a list of some surprising germ hot spots, and what you and your family can do to reduce your risk of illness and infection.

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Shopping CartRestaurant MenusRestaurant TabletopsSoda Fountains
A Slice of Lemon or Other Fruit GarnishBathroom Hand Soap DispenserHotel Room Remote Control, Surfaces
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