Are Dangerous Germs Lurking in Your Doctor's Office? Investigation Puts Waiting Rooms to the Test
Could a checkup at the doctor's office have some unexpected consequences, such as getting your child sick?
Inside Edition’s investigative team wanted to learn what germs could be lurking at a pediatrician's office so they carried out some testing.
Inside Edition spoke to pediatrician Dr. Dyan Hes, who goes above and beyond in keeping her office clean and disinfected. She said her staff cleans the examining room after every patient, which could be 15 times a day. They also clean the waiting room at least four times a day.
“Because a child puts their hands in their mouth and touches a lot more things, there might be more objects that can spread germs around so we just try to be really safe,” she told Inside Edition’s chief investigative correspondent Lisa Guerrero.
Our team visited 10 different offices and swabbed items including toys and children’s books.
Staphylococcus aureus — a bacteria that can cause skin infections and pneumonia — was found in five out of 10 doctor offices, according to the test results.
Lisa Mou, the mother of a 2-year-old girl, was startled by test results.
“That’s horrible,” she said. “As a parent, I’d be very worried.”
So what can a concerned parent do?
For starters, insist your doctor has a bin for toys that are used by patients and need to be sanitized. That way, potentially germ-infested items don't get used again and again.
Another tip is to ask how often the waiting and examining rooms are cleaned and disinfected.
A final tip is to wash your hands. Use the sanitizer that's in most doctors’ offices, but soap and water is better.
“We want to make sure nobody catches anything that can be prevented,” Dr. Hes told Inside Edition.
It is also worth asking your doctor if they have different entrances and waiting rooms for contagious patents.