GENTRY (KFSM) — From their tiny fingers, adorable outfits, even that baby smell, something about babies are magnetic to friendly strangers.
Wendy Adler knows. She has triplets.
"We love that people love the babies and want to give them attention," Adler said.
Adler bought signs from Etsy to put on her stroller and the babies' carseats. One says, 'STOP! You can look but DO NOT TOUCH. Thank you very much!'
"Every once in a while some people will just bypass the signs and walk over it immediately grab a child but most of the time they work," Adler said.
The problem babies have a weaker immune system than adults, and strangers can carry some strange germs. Dr. Kendall Wagner practices internal medicine, pediatrics at Mercy in Fort Smith.
"You see the little signs that say, 'Stop! Don't touch me.' or 'It's flu season, please wash your hands,' and I encourage those for parents. I think it helps to trigger passers-by to think before they actually touch," Dr. Wagner said.
He adds infants have a higher risk of getting the flu. It can even lead to pneumonia and other severe infections.
"Babies are tempting right?" he said. "We all want to touch them and talk to them, but what we don't often realize is that we may sometimes be spreading illness to them, not even meaning to."
It seems like common sense, but a person should always ask before touching or holding someone's baby. If they do say yes, the person holding the baby should be sure their hands are clean.
"Even if you've just washed them, it's great to use hand sanitizer on top just to make sure that you've taken care of any viruses or colds that could be hanging out on your hands," Dr. Wagner said.
He says when it comes to kissing babies, limit that to mom and dad.
Adler added, "Most family and friends are absolutely allowed to hold and touch the babies, but only my husband and I are the ones who kiss."
Adler has a total of seven kids, ranging in age from nine months to 19 years old. She has some final words of advice for new parents.
" I wouldn't be concerned about what other people think," she said. "Your top priority is your children. Your priority is keeping them safe, keeping them healthy."
Adler's triplets have all had the flu shot, but babies younger than six months cannot get vaccinated yet. That's also important to keep in mind.