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Microbeworld Video

Germ Proof Your Kids (MWV26)



Parents are often presented with conflicting messages about germs and cleanliness. On the one hand, the news headlines warn us about dangerous "superbugs." On the other hand, there is growing concern that over-cleaning and excessive hygiene may weaken children's immune systems. Fortunately, there is real, vetted science available to help us understand how to best protect, without overprotecting, our kids.

In episode 26 of MicrobeWorld Video, we talk with Dr. Harley Rotbart, author of Germ Proof Your Kids: The Complete Guide to Protecting (without Overprotecting) Your Family from Infections. Dr. Rotbart, a pediatric infectious diseases specialist at The University of Colorado and The Children's Hospital of Denver, has practiced, researched, and taught germ defense for the past 25 years. His new book serves as a resource for parents and health care providers to help put science back into the discussion of protecting kids from microscopic dangers. In addition to evaluating the traditional approaches to infection prevention (vaccines, antibiotics, etc.), Dr. Rotbart also analyzes the science behind Mom's advice about the effects of hygiene, nutrition, sleep, stress, exercise, and even wearing boots in the rain. It turns out Mom was right most of the time.

This video was filmed live at the Marian Koshland Science Museum in Washington, D.C. and in various locations around the DC metro area.

For more audio and video podcasts about microbiology, health and life science-related subjects, please visit If you would like to know more about Germ Proof Your Kids please visit

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Comments (1)

  1. This is a great take on this very important issue. I think I am going to need to get a copy of that book and if it is as good as it seems from the video it'll be something I will recommend for all parents to read. And that little curly haired blond boy is totally adorable!

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