Thank goodness Science has finally given us protection against. . . Kooties!
Kootie Killer promises to “kill 99.9% of germs & Kooties without water!” This claim is clearly rigorously lab-tested and evidence-based, but although I wouldn’t dream of questioning its veracity, it does invite the question. . . what the heck is a Kootie?
Personally, I always thought cooties (with a “c”) were symbiotic, invisible organisms that spontaneously accrued on children, causing healthy developmental conflict with members of the opposite sex. Shows you what I know. Apparently, the Kootie is a yellow-bellied, grimacing hemipteran (or at least that’s what it looks like on the packaging).
Kootie Killer is a bit vague about its purpose. It promises on the front of the package to kill “germs and kooties,” on the back (see image below) to kill “germs” and to “decrease bacteria on skin,” but on the website (tagline: “what did you touch today?”) it claims to be helpful in preventing H1N1 influenza (swine flu). The CDC’s swine flu guidance does indeed recommend alcohol-based hand sanitizers as part of good hygiene, although “When soap and water are not available, alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers may be used” is not the most ringing endorsement ever.
However, if the bright colors and “Kootie” conceit get kids – those cute little notorious spreaders of infections – to keep their hands clean, who am I to object? Die, Kooties! Die!