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What Your Shoes Bring Home

As parents, we do our best to protect our kids against the spread of germs and disease. But when family members or friends wear their shoes indoors, they may be tracking in more than dirt.

"Bacteria, including E. coli, is found on the majority of shoes," says Cindy Gellner, MD, a pediatrician at University of Utah Health. "Your shoes come in contact with bacteria from restroom floors and the outdoors. Unless you remove your shoes or clean them, you can transfer the bacteria indoors. This is especially a concern in homes where an infant or toddler is crawling around because everything they get on their hands eventually goes into their mouth."

Infographic shoes

"It's a good idea to keep a pair of skid-resistant indoor slippers or shoes by the door, so you can change out of your outdoor shoes when you get home," Gellner says. "You can also wash the soles and sides of your shoes with detergent. That eliminates bacteria by 90 percent."