How do you protect your children against germs?
It often seems like there are super-germs mentioned in the news every day. At the same time, kids love to touch things and put things in their mouths. How do you protect your kids from germs?
Breastfeed! Build a strong immune system from the start. DON'T use shopping cart covers, wipes, and antibac soap. Let them play in the dirt. Over protection and over use of antibiotics and antibacterials is what is CAUSING the super bugs. Build a strong immune system through normal exposure, good diet, and lots of sleep.
It's good to protect from germs but I think people these days go overboard. You HAVE to be exposed to some germs to build up immunity to them. I think more people are sick these days due to antibacterial EVERYTHING. To answer the question...wash hands, don't hang around known sick people, get enough rest, eat relatively healthy foods. Pretty much everything we were taught as a child. If your child is prone to sickness more than others, this is an exception to a point. I will say, when my kids were smaller, I would use antibacterial wipes at every restaurant table AND grocery carts. WALMART was a culprit in my town one year for an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth. DISGUSTING! Studies have shown with hand washing, the antibacterial soaps didn't wash any better than regular soap used properly. Antibact. soap can also dry some people's skin so much they crack then germs...staph, whatever, can get in and make you sicker. Sorry, got a little wordy.
I was going to post a reply that said pretty much what everyone has said already, but I will add a couple thoughts to those:
Also, when you use antibacterial soaps and gels, you are also killing millions of GOOD bacteria, and part of their function is that they crowd out and kill the bad bacteria! If the good germs are not present, then bad bacteria has lots of room to multiply and grow and cause infection.
I have twin 5 yr olds and a 3 yr old and I have only had to have antibiotics prescribed once for sickness for one child, ever. And it was when our soap unknowingly got replaced with antibacterial kind. For kindergarten I even sent a bottle of regular soap for them to use there! Teacher did not mind at all.
I do NOT make a concentrate effort to protect them from germs. doing so only hurts their immune system. We use a little common sense. we live on a farm , when we collect eggs, we wash the dirty eggs, and our hands after collecting them . if we find we are dealing with manure, in most of its forms, we will wash our hands before we eat or drink. we clean our counters and are aware of diseases that can be transmitted to people from animals. Farm animals properly housed contrary to public belief, do not carry many things that people can catch. we rinse our produce from the garden but otherwise eat off the plants, or out of the trees, when it comest to the fruit etc, I KNOW what pesticides, (none) have been applied, and I know a good rinsing with water will get the dirt off.. a few germs.. are actually good for kids, , and my kids are sick less than most because of this approach.
It's important to be clean but also not to go over board. Children build up natural anti bodies to the common bacteria found on most surfaces. If you use too many disinfectants there is more danger of your child growing up with less tolerance to every day bugs and more likely to get sick or the symptoms will be far worse had they not been exposed to and built up there natural anti bodies.
There is so much hype in the media through adds etc that tell parents and caregivers to sterilize the child's playing environment and that has caused an increase in allergies and infections.
The super bugs like MRSA have come about from over or misuse of anti-biotics, causing the bacteria to develop a resistance to them. When we are prescribed anti biotics we have to complete the whole course.
As Patricia has said it's important to practice and teach our children to practice proper hand washing. especially before meals if they have been playing outside.
A strong immune system is the key. When I was little I played in dirt, didn't have antibacterial soap etc.. And we rarely got sick. Why? My mom made sure to make healthy nutritious home cooked meals, we took our vitamins and we were exposed to germs. We weren't dirty, of course we washed our hands before eating but we never lived in a bubble.
If enough mothers put as much effort into breastfeeding as they generate angst w/their germophobia, there'd be a lot fewer sick children!!! Exposure to germs is unavoidable. And, quite honestly, you don't WANT to shield children from all germs. How is immunity to be built w/o exposure? Is this an early manifestation of Meunschausen (sp) Syndrome by Proxy??? Today's new/young parents go waaaay overboard w/the hand sanitizer, cart "covers," etc. I'm not advocating that kids play in a toxic waste dump or NEVER wash their hands!! However, I *do* think a parent should use common sense, a commodity sorely lacking these days. When my kids were little-ish, I made sure they had the opportunity to play in the ooey-gooey, DIRRRRRRRRTY mud!!! They liked their video games, but they still mention how fun it was to play in the mud. So, whomever asked this silly question, relax. Unless you want your kid to live in a bubble. How boring would THAT be???
Keep your children in clean cloths, have them wash their hands after using the toilet, and before they eat. All commonsense easy to do things. Breast feed, and do not get overly protective about germs !!!
Children need strong immune systems and only by allowing some germs to invade will their bodies be able to build a strong immune system . Also don't insist that your child's Doctor give antibiotics for every little sniffle !!!
I agree with Clare and Patricia. Let em play in the dirt!! And it's ok if they put things in their mouths, don't freak out! Breast is best for building up the immune system. If they are prescribed an antibiotic make sure they finish all of what was prescribed. Don't be a clean freak.:)
As so many have said, you have to give the body something to fight in order to build up an immune system. When my grown children (who I had stayed home with) entered preschool, I thought they must be the most sickly children because they suddenly acquired every cold known to man.... even though they had never been sick before!!!! Amazingly, by the time they reached kindergarten, they were miraculously cured!!!! Now my daughter, who is a young ER nurse, finds herself sick again with all of these new "germs". I try to tell her that as she works there longer and longer, she will not get as sick. I had the same thing happen to me when I started teaching..... your immune system will respond to its environment.... assuming you give it a CHANCE!!! Today, parents are so afraid to let their children be exposed to anything, the child's immune system is forced to attack the only thing it has access to..... the child's own body..... therefore we have a sharp increase in auto-immune diseases such as celiac, and allergies.....
Breastfeed and try to keep them from licking the sidewalk [I had 1 who swore that new cement tasted good] Had another who carried around a dead mouse all day, I thought it was a stuffed cat toy.
Hi, I am a producer for Fox 5 News. I am working on a story about how much is the right amount to sanitize things for your kids.
Can you let me know your thoughts on the subject, and if you (and your kids) might be interesting in participating in a story with us.
I can be reached Jessica.Cohen@foxtv.com
Thanks for your help and consideration,
My thoughts pretty much echo those of others... need to give their immune systems a chance to build up those immunities, and that doesn't happen by going overboard trying to "protect" them from them.
Insist on washing of hands. Often.
My Mother was a nurse in the 50's and said the richest kids were the sickest because they lived with too many cleaning products!! She was right.
Cleaning products in spray bottles are more dangerous than most germs!!!
What wonderful responses you've had so far! Breastfeeding is definitely at the top of my list. We also do not go crazy on the hand washing and sanitizing, as I believe exposure to germs and even being sick every once in a while helps build a healthy immune system. We do NOT use anti-bacterial soap or sanitizer. Like someone else on here already said, it kills the good bacteria as well as the bad. Also, many of the "super-germs" are viruses along with colds and flus. Anti-BACTERIAL products kill bacteria, not viruses.
I do want to add one new thing that no one has mentioned yet. My family has been using is essential oils for over a year now as our traditional healthcare alternative. We've gotten through ear infections with basil essential oil, used peppermint oil to lower fevers, and even calmed anxieties with vetiver. Oregano essential oil is also a great antibiotic. Also, unlike all the synthetic medicines out there, essential oils can cross the cell walls to kill viruses like H1N1 and MRSA. A word of caution: be careful which essential oils you use! Most eo's available today have fillers and preservatives or have been altered in some way. We get our essential oils through a company called doTERRA. doTERRA oils are certified pure therapeutic grade, so we can take them internally as well as use them topically or aromatically and they're safe to use on babies as well as adults. If anyone would like more info, please message me on here.
Since Lysol,Clorox wipes and commercial chemical based soaps and sprays can actually create more strains of bacteria (they only kill some and others mutate), we only use natural antibacterials, cleaners, and soaps at our house. All the toys I buy at garage sales are washed with Thieves essential oil cleaner. I apply a few drops of Thieves antibacterial essential oil blend on my 5 year olds feet each day before he puts his socks on for childcare/school/church. If his throat is scratchy I give him a Thieves lozenge. Diffusing essential oils in my son's room overnight at the first sign of cough or runny nose usually detours a full blown cold or flu. He has never had any medications or antibiotics, EVER so we are very blessed that his immune system is strong. Jennifer Nordin, LMT,CST,CAP http://jennifernordin.vibrantscents.com
Read my blog and you'll see, lol. :) I have pretty severe germ OCD, but I'll admit, it does protect my kids against germs....
no offense but get over it. As long as they are not at a petting zoo then hand washing is all thats needed.
Don't go overboard. Doctors are saying now that too much germ killing can weaken a child's defenses, and not give him the chance to build up an immunity. We never had much of that, except in the bathroom, when I was little, and I made it to 65 without much trouble!
I think the best way to protect your children against germs is to teach basic personal hygiene habits when they're really young. General proper washing is so very helpful to prevent everything from coughs & colds to pinworms & impetego. Teach them well and expect nothing less!
I wash my daughters hands like crazy. and carry lots of hand santizer
You just have to make sure they wash their hands and remind them not to put their hands in their mouths. However, you can't always be there to protect them from all the germs.
you dont you need to allow children to get germs that is how immune systems are built. we disinfect everything. That is why kids of today are constantly getting sick. Mothers are bubble wrapping their children.No offense i know we only do whats best but sometimes what we think is best isn't.
Breast feeding is first and foremost! I sanitize both my toddlers hands right after the park, grocery store, ect. I also have a UVB blue light I UAE at restaurants where they are exposed directly to muliple children and eating
There's only so much you can do and some germs are ok, it's the viruses you have to worry about and unfortunately you can't see either so you JUST have to keep keep clean hands!
What a lot of sensible mums, you have your answer, you should not protect your kids from everything. A little is good for their future wellbeing.