Souvenir Sunday: socks at the airport

Every Sunday here at StuckatTheAirport.com, is Souvenir Sunday. The day we look at some of fun, local and inexpensive items you can pick up when you’re hanging around an airport.

But here’s something cheap – free, actually – you can pick at just about any airport that you’d be better off leaving behind: germs.

(MRSA Photo Credit: Janice Haney, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

In working on another topic for next week’s At the Airport column on USATODAY.com, I’ve been e-chatting with a podiatrist who has important advice for anyone heading to the airport wearing flip-flops or sandals: put on socks!

“When the TSA has every single person remove their shoes and stand barefoot in the same place where hundreds of prior people have, you create a scenario where infection has the potential to spread,” warns Dr. Nirenberg. “Persons with fungus, warts or bacterial infections are still told to remove footwear and these could be spread to people who have breaks or fissures in the skin of their feet.”

Ick!

Sure, you want to get through the security line quickly. But when you’re dressing to go to the airport wear put on some socks. If you forget and find yourself standing barefoot on that mat with the white foot outlines on it, your next stop should probably be an airport shop where you can buy yourself an inexpensive pair of souvenir socks.