Rockland County Health Official: “Bacteria Aren’t the Enemy: Why Messy Can Be Better”

Rockland County (NY) Health Department’s Commissioner of Health, Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, DO, MPH, DABFM, FAAFP, recently penned an article for parents of children to explain why “Bacteria Aren’t the Enemy: Why Messy Can Be Better.” The article encourages parents to step away from the anti-bacterial soaps, lotions, and cleansers to let the world’s “good” microbes do their job – help protect children’s health.

As Dr. Schnabel Ruppert notes,

The FDA’s concern is that in our effort to rid our lives of microbes, we are doing two things that will harm us. First, we are wiping out the bacteria that actually help us in countless ways, from digesting food to supporting our immune system in avoiding disease. The other concern is that we are contributing to the growing threat of bacteria that are resistant to medications, the so-called “superbugs.”

As antimicrobial resistance continues to represent a major concern for public health, it’s more important than ever for children to build up their own immunological defense against bad bacteria. Read the full article here.

About Kim Rodgers

Kim Rodgers serves as a Communications Specialist at NACCHO. Her work includes promoting local health departments' best practices, as well as partner tools and resources, in infectious disease and preparedness through NACCHO's communications channels, storytelling, and outreach to various audiences.

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