Katie Holmes sanitizes playground before Suri can play

Katie, Suri and Tom on 11/4/07. Credit: Doug Meszler for WENN
Katie Holmes was said to have sprayed down nearly an entire playground with sanitizer before letting her two year old daughter, Suri, set foot on it. She made Suri stay in the car while she sprayed and wiped swings, benches and a jungle gym with both a spray bottle and gel sanitizer:

Hubby Tom Cruise was reshooting scenes for his long-delayed film “Valkyrie” on the grounds of a Pasadena, CA church in late June when Katie and Suri dropped by to visit, according to an insider.

Katie agreed to let Suri play, but not before she gave the nearby swings, benches and small jungle gym the once-over with spray and squirt bottles of sanitizer and disinfectant, said the source….

“She even made an antsy Suri stay in the car until she accomplished her mission. Katie could be overheard telling her, ‘Hang on, honey. I’ll be done soon…'”

Katie’s rep denies the incident occurred.

[From The National Enquirer, print edition, July 21, 2008]

This is extreme and it does seem like OCD behavior, but I have to partially defend Holmes if this is true. I am a mom who carries little hand sanitizers in my purses and I make my son clean his hands frequently. I would never clean an entire playground, but if that’s what Katie wants to do I don’t blame her.

There is an indoor playplace here in Berlin that I’m not going to mention by name. My son loves it there and has gone there twice, but each time he went he came down with that 24 hour puking bug that night. It could have been a coincidence, but I’m not bringing him back there.

I wouldn’t clean an entire playground at all – it does seem strange to others and there’s no point because there would always be germs you missed. Kids need to be exposed to germs and dirt for their immune systems or they’re more susceptible to allergies later on. But I have definitely been tempted to spray down entire grubby kid surfaces in public. Especially after cleaning up my kid’s bed after he got the stomach flu.

Somehow this endears Holmes to me. She didn’t send someone else to spray down the whole playground – she did it herself.

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62 Responses to “Katie Holmes sanitizes playground before Suri can play”

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  1. Tess says:

    adorable child.

  2. Anni says:

    hello allergies!

    i believe kids have to get dirty. they have to build a strong immune system, therefore the body needs to fight certain germs. i grew up on the country and i ate sand and climed trees and played with mud. i have no allergies whatsoever. then i started school and all those other kids were constantly ill due to allergies and stomach bugs.

    of course you have to protect your kids and i am all for clean hands after touching animals and then eating etc. but to sterilize everything your kid might touch is not necesserily a favor for your child.

  3. nl says:

    She sounds like a normal first time mom to me

  4. vdantev says:

    Which is why kids get so sick so much, and have so many allergies. You gotta let them catch the little bugs and get over them, makes the immune system tougher. Hand washing should be just fine.

  5. Darlene says:

    We have the same kind of indoor playground. Let’s pretend it’s called “Fun & Play”. All the parents locally call it “Fun and Germs” because their kids get deathly ill after playing there. I’ve had my 4 1/2 year old there three times in her life; each and every time she’s come down with a TERRIBLE illness. Coincidence? I think not.

    While I wouldn’t do an entire playground, I’d come close. What surprises me is that the report says she did it for herself, instead of having her staff do it.

  6. Enonymouse says:

    Katie sounds like a responsible, good parent to me.

  7. Bodhi says:

    Ditto Anni! I’m alot healthier than many of the kids I grew up with & I think thats the main reason. My parents weren’t obsessive about sanitizing every last thing.

    Its wierd as hell to me, but pretty much everything about TomKat & Baby Sci is wierd to me :shrug:

  8. daisy424 says:

    I agree with Anni.
    I was a sanitizing nut with my first child. By the time the 5th one came along, they were digging dirt in our back yard with my kitchen spoons. But, I was always a stickler about washing their hands, I am the same with my Grandkids.

  9. Syko says:

    My grandma used to tell me that kids have to eat a certain amount of dirt before they can grow up right.

  10. Plot says:

    We were raised around lots of animals. We rolled in the dirt all day or built forts or dammed creeks.

    I’m healthy as a horse, except when I live in Berlin (hey there!) Every year, I come down with some nasty infection that lays me out for days (while everyone else gets the sniffles.) What a shock! I don’t think that my childhood dirt gave me any immunities to these diseases.

    So this year, I’m taking huge multi-vitamins, keeping my hands away from my face unless I’ve washed them, and not eating T places I don’t trust (like the Doners or the Ubahn wurst places.)

    Maybe this year I’ll get lucky.

  11. Anni says:

    well, i live in hamburg, and i guess big-city-germs are alike. i don´t get sick. oh one time in china, but that´s a whole different story 😆

  12. Kaiser/ Hippacrat says:

    Yeah, I’m not going to bitch about KatE doing this. So, she’s a little germophobic? Kids are walking Ebola viruses. And KatE’s the one who’ll be up with Suri when she’s sick.

  13. breederina says:

    Big city life, we Moms would do quick used condom’s, broken glass and needles sweeps before letting the kids into the sand pit. Other than that my theory is that sun burns off what rain doesn’t wash off.
    I never use antibacterial anything but a pack of diaper wipes always comes in handy esp. after a city bus ride.
    Why do those indoor play places always smell like dirty socks ?

  14. Carrie says:

    Sounds plain old neurotic to me. You cant keep kids away from germs their whole life, and to impress on a kid that they’re not allowed to play until their environment has been sanitised is an unhealthy message. Neurotic mums = neurotic kids.

  15. countrybabe says:

    I don’t think I would have done all that if it was a church playground, now Central Park in NY is another story.
    I don’t see anything in this article about broken glass. I would think a church playground would be reasonably closed in.
    Just give her a bath when you get home.

    Good thing Suri doesn’t go to daycare.
    There are alot of germs there. Kate wouldn’t be able to sleep at night.

  16. Lola says:

    I don’t see how she could do this and then let Suri walk bare foot in a department store. Enquirer is shady.

    I won’t lie, I am a bit extreme when it comes to hygiene. ( There is a time when I’d never eat out, I don’t know where those hands have been). It became such a problem that I talked to a doctor friend of mine. Germophobia gets worse when you feed it.

    I do understand where Katie is coming from. Obviously I don’t have energy to clean a whole play room but I would try. May be Suri went down with something the previous time she used it.

    Now am picturing her cleaning all swings. LOL………

  17. Larissa says:

    Carrie- ditto!
    and the fact she did it herself only points out to the fact that:
    or she didn´t have anybody else do it for her (I´ll assume that was the case as she left Suri locked in the car)
    she thinks no one else can do it properly, but her!
    still freakish neurotic to me!
    and btw, hygiene and neurosis are NOT the same thing!

  18. kate says:

    i don’t believe this story at all but if it is true, then that’s just dumb. why not put the kid in a plastic bubble and be done with it?!

  19. Mairead says:

    I think this is being exaggerated – she probably gave some of the surfaces lile the handles of the swings, slides and jungle gym a rubdown. And considering she’s a first-time mother i can understand. And perhaps the little girl is prone to picking up bugs, or just got over a sniffle?

    I believe that exposure to a cross section of germs is healthy for a child, but there are plenty of germs , deposited by others’ hands which you’re not going to build up an immunity to (e-coli etc).

    Regardless of whether it’s a church playground or a commercial playcentre, so many people don’t wash their hands properly (or at all) after going to the toilet and it’ll transfer fecal matter to all touched surfaces.

    The sun will get rid of a lot, but not all. And not everyone is aware of the sun’s disinfecting properties.

  20. daisy424 says:

    Mairead, found this on google; “Left in the sun for several hours, the ultra violet radiation will also kill the bacteria on textiles and other household goods”.
    Thanks for the info, I didn’t know this.

  21. Plot says:

    Hey anni! I was just in Hamburg. Visited the Kunsthalle for the Rothko thing. Fantastic museum, then again, no one does a museum like the Germans. No one.

    Ate some Portuguese fish in the Sternschanze area.

    I’d like to explore Hamburg more. All my friends here say it’s their 2nd favorite German city (after Berlin, naturally.)

  22. Anni says:

    oh i did rothko at university too much, i can´t stand to look at yet another piece…i´d go nuts! but i like the kunsthalle. but i like el prado in madrid more!

    anyways, hamburg is my fave city ever. berlin is nice but oh well, everyone is different. schanzenviertel? did you eat at la sepia or aqui?

    sorry for the OT guys 😉

  23. Jack says:

    just let the kid get out there and play. geesh!

  24. Not to rain on the Katie-endearing parade — you know I heart you, Celebitchy! — but it sort of makes sense that Katie would do this herself. People with OCD quite frequently wouldn’t “trust” anyone else to do a thorough enough job at eliminating germs.

    Also, with that type of OCD, it’s not uncommon that such extreme behavior is brought on by a major stressor. Perhaps Tom’s freakitude forces her to seek control over certain situations, and this need for control could manifest itself in the germophobia.

    In conclusion, Tom Cruise drives Katie nuts. 😉

  25. Jessica says:

    The older that child gets, the more she looks like her momma’s ex, Chris Kline.

  26. Me says:

    Suri is going to be one spoiled brat when she’s older…! Seems a little excessive to spray down a playground, first time mom, or not.

  27. Anastasia says:

    I guess I’ll be different and say I think she went overboard. I’m a mom to an adored only child, too, and I understand wanting to protect them from everything, but damn, wiping down an entire freaking playground?

    Can you say overkill? Sheesh!

  28. Megan says:

    Hm well I don’t believe the National Enquirer, they make stuff up. But if this is true, I think it’s a bit OCD. I agree with everyone who has said that kids need to fall over and eat dirt and worms to build up their immune system. Children that are wrapped in bubble wrap will only have problems later. I remember eating grass when I was a child lol! I’m perfectly healthy. I bet the cats had shat on it beforehand too.

  29. velvet elvis says:

    When I was a kid I played everywhere outside and I don’t hardly remember my mom even making me wash my hands…much less her sterilizing my Big Wheel…I was almost never sick. People are too quick to believe the anti-bacterial industry’s propaganda and have become paranoid about germs.

  30. Exposure to germs is absolutely necessary to build up a strong immune system.

  31. The playgrounds probably were nasty but then why bother at all?

  32. ? says:

    It does seem a little obsessive. Unless, of course, Suri is somehow immune-suppressed.

    I have been for the past 3 years, and I wipe down everything I touch.

    People who find behavior like that neurotic without giving the person a benefit of the doubt are close-minded and rude.

  33. Kelly says:

    “Exposure to germs is absolutely necessary to build up a strong immune system.”

    So true. Parents who are over-protective are promoting allergies for their child.

    Sometimes you have to let go and let the children just play and get dirty.

  34. Sue says:

    This is soooo stupid.I had one rule and that was don’t put your hands in your mouth or touch your face.Wow simple.

  35. geronimo says:

    Interesting fact re the sun’s sanitising properties, Mairead. Didn’t know that. The things you learn on here! Entertainment AND edumacation. Don’t get that on Perez 😀

  36. Leandra says:

    Hmmmm….what did she do about the sand box? Pretty hard to sanitize that, or any sand in the playground for that matter. Everyone knows it’s full of stray cat excrement/feces/crap. It’s not like they’re putting covers over the sand every evening to keep those cats out like some parents do at home.

  37. Mairead says:

    LOL geronimo and co – breederina mentioned it first 😉

    all down to loving random documentaries that tell you test the “five second” theory (food dropped on the ground is fine if you pick it up within five seconds) and that most pavements have fewer germs than the average hallway 😯

    But washing one’s hands properly is the key – and that means both soap AND water. Not just baptising your digits under the tap, which is what I see most people doing. *blergh*

  38. Mikw says:

    Why would Katie de-sanitize the playground, when Scientologists believe they are impervious to germs in the first place???

  39. june says:

    Thanks for contributing to the breeding of antibiotic-resistant superbacteria, you stupid $cientologist bitch.

  40. Ack! says:

    How dumb. Clean the kid’s hands frequently with antibacterial wipes, if it bothers you that much, but to sanitize an entire playground is ridiculous. Does she also sanitize Barney’s and all the other shops they frequent, not to mention restaurants where they may dine? This must be part of Scientology training to prove you’re worthy of being a parent. I think it’s totally insane.

  41. Laila says:

    I doubt she did this. My sister’s daughter is down with a bug. No one wants a sick child. This story is stretched and fabricated. Just give the girl a break.

  42. daisyfly says:

    I’ve cleaned playground equipment before…but usually it’s because it’s covered in bird caca. Other than that, I was always taught (and my children’s pediatrician has agreed) that being exposed to everyday germs and bacteria helps build the immune system in most normally healthy children. Not being exposed makes them far more susceptible to severe illness.

  43. Plot says:

    Anni, LOL, I hear you on the Rothko – I had something similar with De Kooning, don’t ever need to see another one. I fell hard for Rothko, though, because he wasn’t a woman-breaking macho shit-head like soooo many other abstract expressionists. Rather, very spiritual.

    Funny you should mention the Prado! I love it, too, but it catches all kinds of hell in the art world for some reason. Where else can you stand or sit in front of Las Maninas all afternoon, or that dark room of Goyas, without a soul bothering you? So casual and just the right size for a museum.

    Glad to have another museum slut around here. 😛


  44. Also, those indoor playgrounds that I’ve seen tend to be particularly and visibly nasty. At least outside, there’s the sun, rain, and wind to help clean things up well enough.

  45. gg says:

    Wow, I’m jealous. I’m a museum slut. I’m a history slut too.

  46. dana says:

    i hope this isnt true! what a stupid idea. they should just build her her own little ecosystem on thier ranch so she wont ever have to experience life as a normal person would. i’m sure it would be easier to disinfect her guests whenever they come to play than to disinfect a whole freakin playgroung.

  47. lanette says:

    hell i don’t blame her…people are too lacks about being clean. plus Suri is her kid…………..so it is her business

  48. Scott F. says:

    I’ve been trying to convince people for years that it’s a bad idea to over-sanitize everything your kid gets near. You think a runny nose is scary?

    Scary is the fact that when you kill 99.9% of germs (like all those sanitizers brag about), then the only ones left to breed are the .01% that are so tough that even antibacterial chemicals can’t kill them. It’s artificial survival of the fittest, and it’s going to produce some REALLY nasty stuff some day.

  49. Kat says:

    Wonder if she sprays down Tom, before he can play with Suri ??

  50. poopie says:

    Suri is NOT her kid and if she gets sick i really doubt that KatIE will be up with her all nite. give me a HUGE BREAK HERE…. she’ll have one of their $cientologonanniedocs go in and attach an E Meter to her butt and blow out all those nasty germs.


  51. michelle says:

    Give me a break!!!… this story is from the National Enquirer which is hardly a reliable source. This story is typical of tabloid junk and so highly over the top it just has to be made up.

  52. Laura says:

    Anyone said museum slut? That’d be me!
    I spent the whole day at El Prado for my 23rd birthday and loved it. Two years ago, I went to the Louvre thinking I was gonna be disappointed because it was probably overrated and, boy was I wrong! For more contemporary/less classic stuff try Centre Pompidou in Paris. I still have to go to Orly.

  53. messyhead says:

    Am I the only person who thinks accidentally ingesting hand sanitizer sounds grosser and more unhealthy than accidentally ingesting germs?

    On a side note, I hate hand sanitizer. If you end up having to use it 3049082390 times a day cuz you work in a hospital it dries out your hands hardcore and then leaves lots of nice little cracks in your skin that will sting real good next time you have to sanitize your hands. Gah.

  54. G. says:

    my mom never sanitized anything when i was a kid, and as a result I have no allergies, only get sick because of migranes or cramps(but only occasionally), and i’m the healthiest one in my family. My littest sister had everything sanitized at her daycare, and now is allergic to alot of things. I little less sanititation wouldn’t hurt anybody.

  55. G. says:

    *A little less sanitation wouldn’t hurt anybody.

  56. Ashley says:

    It’s all fine and dandy that you don’t want your kids to get sick but as many have pointed out that kids going to be severly f-cked when she’s older. She’ll be allergic to everything.

    And second, the more you keep spraying crap down with sanitizer the faster you’ll create supergerms. We already have a few diseases that don’t have cures let’s just go ahead and make more?

    When I was a kid it was normal to get dirty and because of that I have never been sick. I also used to jump off the roof and try to fly by using an unbrella and to this day have never broken a single bone. I’m just saying, you don’t need to be sooo overprotective.

  57. Ashley says:

    poopie – now I’m thinking maybe it’s a good thing she’s so careful. I forgot that when Scientologists get sick they can’t go to a doctor, how f-cking stone age is that?!?! You can’t even take some Tylenol. All you can do it sweat it out.

  58. celeb says:

    I give up saying something.Everyone is so different.We all have different ways to do something to rase our kids,But this way or that way we can’t say which is realy better.Whats normal or anormal ?
    Let her do it that way.
    Whatever we say she will do what she think it has to be done.yep.

    love to all xxx take care
    celeb from turkey

  59. Shannon says:

    That 24 hour puking virus is passed through feces. Now you have proof that they’re not washing their hands in the bathroom. Gross.

  60. jinx says:

    Awwww, they let the immune system challenged Baby out of her bat cave! Yeah, she’s only out for photo ops now. Please note when one of them has a movie to pimp, the immune challenged on will be brought out.

  61. Miche E says:

    I’ve heard various times that if you use too much hand sanitizer, your immunity to common germs will weaken. Then when you once or twice don’t use hand sanitizer during/after a dirty situation, you will end up getting much sicker than the person who did not use the hand sanitizer in the first place.

    It’s good to be clean and healthy, but this isnt necaserally healthy…

  62. Coool says:

    I was also dirty when i was a kid
    and i now have no alergies and the worst sickness I get is a stuffy nose for a few days. And I’ve never been the hospital for myself since I was born(excluding a time I had to get an x-ray when i was about 14, when the doctor told me I might have a crooked spine, but really I just had uneven, but harmless, shoulders)