Kicking off Your Shoes
Having been raised in Kentucky, (warning: I’m about to feed into a stereotype) I spent many summers running around barefoot. In fact, my mom used to get on my brother and I about needing to wear shoes, especially when we would come home with scraped up feet from our barefoot bike riding adventures. As I’ve matured and realized that protecting your feet is a better option; I have grown to be more comfortable wearing shoes. But also, as I’ve aged and my friends started having children, I noticed more and more people were asking me to remove my shoes when I come into their home. I mean, come on people, now my polish must be kept up in the winter too? So, the question becomes, why do my friends want me to remove my shoes? And does it really make for a healthier living environment?
According to the few articles that I’ve read on the subject, the simple answer is, “yes”. Our shoes walk on all kinds of icky things that we, knowingly, would keep away from our families. So, in a home where the floor is used to lounge in front of the tv, to host slumber parties, or for a toddler to crawl around on; you may want to consider the “No shoes” rule. It is not just dirt and maybe a few germs but according to a study featured in the article on lifehack.org (sourced below), “about 40% of shoes were carrying the nasty “C.diff” bacterium, which stands for Clostridium difficile.” C. diff is incredibly hard to treat as it is resistant to most antibiotics and can multiply very quickly, making recovery for the infected person very difficult.
The same study found that there typically is a disgusting amount of dust, bird droppings, dog poop and leafy debris. It notes that the leaves become a breeding ground for this bacterium, causing it to last for days or even weeks on the bottoms of your shoes. Two of the main strains of bacteria found on peoples’ shoes in the study were E. Coli which can cause severe stomach and intestinal problems and Klebsiella pneumoniae which is known to cause damage to lungs leading to pneumonia. With all this nastiness on the bottoms of our shoes maybe asking people to remove their shoes isn’t asking too much of them? Or at least, take your shoes off when you come into your own home.
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