The good news is the dirtiest part of an airplane is not your child. The bad news is your child has definitely touched it and probably eaten a stray goldfish cracker off of it.
Yup, we're talking about the seatback tray.
According to a scientific study done by TravelMath, airplane tray tables were found to have more bacteria per square inch than the lavatory flush button, the overhead air vent and the seat buckle. Yuck. The only glimmer of hope here is that none of these areas tested were found to have E. Coli which is the bacteria that will really make you sick. Yay?
So what can you do to keep you and your kids from becoming germ magnets on your flight?
For starters, bring wipes and hand sanitizer with you. As pediatrician Dr. Noel Salyer told us last year, wipe down the seatback tray before your kids set up their toys and snack bowls on it. And be vigilant about handwashing. If you can't make it to the bathroom, wipe the hands down with a baby wipe and follow-up with hand sanitizer.
If you're really worried about germs, you can buy one of these disposable seat and tray liners. I've seen these for sale in the airport magazine/sundry stores near the hand sanitizer.
Or you could try this, um, interesting gadget--the Air Hook, which eliminates the need to pull down the seat back tray yet still provides a place for your laptop and drink. But we're not sure where all the Legos and My Little Ponies are supposed to go.
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