Okay, I know what you’re thinking. Implement a no shoes in the house policy with kids? You can barely survive to get get the kids out of the house without a meltdown…. Yourself included.
Add taking shoes on and off to the do list? No thanks!
But wait – hear me out! From one Mother to another. There are several important reasons you need to have a no shoes in the house policy. That you need to hear before you click away shaking your head.
First of all, I’m not a germaphobe. Not by a long shot. And if you are a germaphobe, that’s okay too. You’re in a safe space.
Kids need bacteria to properly develop their immune system. Some bacteria are good while other bacteria are bad. Some good bacteria can be bad in mass numbers. It’s all about proper balance. You need enough good guys to fight off the bad guys.
Sometimes my kids wash their hands before eating, other times we miss it. And I don’t stress out about it. Not for a second.
What does stress me out is all the crud we track into the house on the bottom of our shoes. It’s more than just bacteria. That’s why we have a no shoes in the house policy.
What Is On The Bottom of Your Shoes?
Actually, there is a lot on the bottom of your shoes. A lot of bad stuff. Pesticides, feces, chemicals (like antifreeze, oil, cleaners), viruses and bacteria.
Your neighbor who just treated their lawn for weeds. With pesticides. The same lawn your child just wandered into the grass on your walk. Those pesticides got onto your child’s shoes. And tracked into your house.
When you go to the bathroom at the grocery store, you don’t let your 2-year-old play and splash in the toilet water. Right? That would be gross!
And you wouldn’t lay your baby on the bathroom floor? That would border on child abuse. That’s why you keep your baby in the stroller or the cart.
No shoes in the grass-. That’s fun! No shoes in the parking lot. I didn’t think so. Think about all those oil and antifreeze stains in the parking lot.
Yet the same germs found on that bathroom floor, get on your shoes. Tracked into your home and onto your carpet and floors
Where your kids play. And wrestle and roll around.
Kids spend so much time on the floor.
If you have a baby. Forget about it! They are always on the floor. Mouths open, drooling, hands in their mouths and sometimes even licking the floor. Exploring the world through their mouth.
Children under age 2 are the most vulnerable to the germs we track into the house, because they play on the floor and put their hands in their mouths an average of 80 times an hour. Source: ABC News
Your baby is picking up all that crud from the grocery store to the public bathroom. That you innocently tracked in on your shoes. That’s why you need a no shoes in the house policy.
Natural Defense System
Our bodies have several natural defenses from all that crud. Our immune system, our skin, and our detoxification system.
The problem is little kids have a developing immune system.
Our detoxification systems can’t keep up with today’s toxic chemicals everywhere you turn.
The world wasn’t created with all the pesticides and chemicals we use every day. They are constantly bombarding our bodies.
So in my small corner of the world, I like to keep my home as free from the pesticides, chemicals, and bad bacteria with a no shoes policy. Bacteria like c-dif that is commonly found on the soles of your shoes. Or fecal matter.
I aim to keep our indoor air quality in tip-top shape. Plants work amazingly well to purify the air in your home. Natural cleaners is another great way!
The EPA reports that indoor air quality is often worse than outdoor air quality! Just saying….
I know you want the best for your kids. You want the best start. To keep them safe.
Limiting your kid’s exposure to chemicals and pesticides is a great way to do that.
It’s easy to want to go overboard. You just have to focus on the areas you can effectively change. Areas like inside your home.
And not stress about what is out of your control (the outside stuff).
Transfer from Shoe to Floor
Interesting yet not surprising, carpets caught more bacteria then hard floors.
A study from the University of Arizona examined bacteria, your shoes, and your floor. They looked at how bacteria transferred from shoes to the floor. In the experiment they used tile. They found 90-95% of bacteria transferred from shoes to the floor.
Bacteria commonly found on the bottom of shoes was E. Coli Pneumonia and Meningitis. For a whopping 400,000 bacteria on the bottom of your shoes.
And lots and lots of bacteria that originate from fecal matter.
Now if it’s that easy to transfer bacteria from shoe to floor. How easy is it to transfer pesticides and chemicals? I’d bet just as easily!
A carpeted entryway is the worst! You’re harboring more then if you have hardwood.
Hard floors wipe off easily. You can clean them with a liquid solution.
Carpets are more challenging. Throw rugs can go in the washing machine. Regular carpet – you could use a carpet cleaner. But it can be expensive or labor intensive. We just waited it out and spot cleaned as needed.
No Shoes In the House Policy is the Solution
In our house, we take off our shoes when we enter. Shoes get put away. We all have slippers to wear if we choose. Most of my kids are barefoot – all the time.
I prefer slippers that have a non-skid bottom and fit like a shoe. Too many pairs of backless slippers stretch out and can be a triping hazard. An added benefit of wearing slippers is you feel warmer even in the cold winter. For those of you who are always cold like me.
Other homes that have indoor and outdoor shoes. Essentially, you have shoes that you exclusively wear in the home.
It’s a lot easier than you think to get started with a no shoes in the house policy.
While it takes a few weeks to remember each time you come home to take your shoes off, soon it becomes a new habit.
Guests with a No Shoes in the House Policy
When guests come over, things can get a little more tricky. We have a sign at our door to let guests know we have a no shoes policy in our home. Get your FREE. printable sign here
I ask people to remove their shoes as they are comfortable and able. Typically, I just plan to clean the floors after the guests leave. But when my kids were little – I was pretty strict on this even for guests.
You’ll have to decide what makes sense for your family.
My extended family knows that we don’t wear shoes in our house, so they remove them without being asked.
My kids know to remove their shoes when we go to someone else’s house. Without even being asked. I love that.
Your no shoes in the house policy can become automatic too.
Your kids will automatically remove their shoes and put them away when they get home. Regular guests will automatically remove their shoes at the door. It’s pretty awesome when it happens.
Why Clean Your Shoes?
You can effectively clean off all the stuff harboring on your shoes pretty easily. Throw your shoes into the washing machine with detergent and you’ll remove 99% of the bacteria. Pretty awesome!
Kids get their shoes all dirty and messy. I regularly wash my kids shoes for the messy reason alone! So this is an added bonus!