How do you protect your children against germs?

Lisa - posted on 06/01/2010 ( 16 moms have responded )

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How do you protect your children from germs such as H1N1, Rhinovirus, Influenza, MRSA, VRE, HIV1?

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Angie - posted on 06/03/2010

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Well we keep a relatively clean house but it certainly isn't sterile. My kids wash their hands after going potty and before eating but you won't find hand sanitzer in our diaper bag. We play in the dirt, go out alot, I'm sure they are exposed to sick kids from time to time but that's a part of life. We eat a very well balanced diet, take a probiotic and multivitamin every day and do selective vaccinations (no H1N1 or flu shot in our house among others).

My kids are never sick, they will get the sniffles from time to time but that's about it. My kids have only been really sick 3 times total. The first when my oldest was 4 months old and my dr talked us into the rotavirus vaccine. A week later she ended up with rotavirus that was directly linked to the vaccine. The other time they were both sick this past December and they actually caught the stomach flu from me and I picked it up from visiting my sister in the hospital. That's it though. The more you sterilize and sanitize the more the sicker they will ultimately be. When they do come in contact with the germs they will inevitably catch the virus because they have no immunity to it.

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Jackie - posted on 07/09/2010

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I'm with the bandwagon of not trying to. It's healthy for their immune system to be exposed to germs...and if you really shelter them from it they will get sick much quicker when they are exposed than the kid whose been playing and eating off the floor etc. They will get cleaned up at bathtime, and obviously I vaccinate against aynthing there is a vaccine for (H1N1), but the everyday germs we just live our lives happily and hope for the best.

Melissa - posted on 07/08/2010

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Washing hands is a good rule for trying to avoid common viruses.

We play in the dirt, touch shopping carts, play on the floor, like another post said, and then wash hands!

Danielle - posted on 07/08/2010

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it also depends on the child..in my case:
child #1- don't touch my baby...sanitize everything around the house...make sure anything she looked at was disinfected...drop the soother..get a brand new one and sterilize it.

child #2- wipe down areas that are dirty or may have germs on them. keep all toys going in her mouth germ free. Never let her wear a dirty outfit. Pacifier falls on the ground? pick it up, disinfect with bleach, rinse 714 times, leave on the counter until you know it has nothing left on it before putting it back into her mouth.

child #3-change clothing that has spit-up, dirt, or food on it. Use a clean cloth with some disinfectant on it to occasionally clean. Toys: clean if vomitted on, or excessively drooled on. Pacifier on the floor: pick up, rinse quickly under running water, dry off, put back into baby's mouth.

child #4: hire someone to come clean your house once in awhile so you don't look like a bunch of slobs. Clean clothing after they have worn them for a few days. Pull the toys out from behind and under the couch, wipe them on your leg and throw back into the toy box. Pacifier from the floor: wipe it on your shirt and pop it back into baby's mouth.

child #5: clean the house only when presented with the threat of mother-in Law or Child Protective services. Teach your older kids the best places to hide messes in a hurry..under couch cussions, under beds, under the sink, closets, attic and bathtub (whoever actually looks behind a shower curtain anyway?) Clothing: change once a week, and only AFTER you have removes a week's worth of dried food so you can save it for a craft or snack time...don't waste money buying new clothes, just use duct tape to keep it together, get the kids to just lick eachother's faces clean...saves on water and facecloths...the dog can help out as well. Bathing: strip them all down and hose them off in the backyard, or in the lake...sewers work well too. Baby drops his pacifier on the floor, tell baby to pick it up himself from the mud, rinse it in the toilet water only if he wishes to do so, and pop back in mouth.

Danielle - posted on 07/08/2010

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also...those wonderful disinfecting wipes are an absolute Godsend to me around the house...I use it to clean counters, my bathrooms, kitchen table, toys..pretty much anything. The best way to avoid getting sick though, is to wash hands often often often. I actually get everyone to wash with soap and water...as well as the hand sanitizer afterwards..during our cold & flu seasons. Just make sure that the hand washing process, whether it's with soap& water or sanitizer, you MUST rub hard, all over to get the germs OFF your hands, and ensure that it's for at least 20 seconds. I have seen so many people put some sanitizer on their hands, and walk away...but you have to rub them off, until the sanitizer is dry. Last option is to live in a sterile bubble..I have thought of it..but I would probably get bored out of my mind...lol

Danielle - posted on 07/08/2010

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what we do here as an alternative to the vaccine is take larger amounts of vitamin D...as adults, my husband and i take up to 5 a day (5000 iu) and i give my kids (4-10) between 2000iu and 3000iu a day. As a nurse, i can tell you that vitamin D helps build our body's immune systems, and I know of at least one medical study that has shown that vitamin D in higher doses is more efficient in preventing the H1N1 virus than the vaccinations. How much you will need will depend on where you live. I live in Canada, so our flu season was in fall-winter, but the sun is the very best way to get all the vitamin D you need, as your body will absorb what it needs and discard the rest. This was the first year we used the vitamin D, and rarely were we ever sick...it was the best flu & cold season ever for all of us...

Lisa - posted on 06/04/2010

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Well I have to tell you with my own personal experience when my oldest was born I turned into an instant germaphobic. I kept his infant car seat covered at all times and would not let anyone see inside, I didn't allow anyone in the hospital when I gave birth, I practicaly bathed in hand sanitizer all day every day, sanitized my house every day, you name it I did it. Then when he was a year and a half old we went to a store and he picked out a toy, I let him carry it around the store before taking it home to clean it first, I figured it was still in the box it was ok. He got roda virus and almost died a few days later. The PICU Doc told me that he was going to die and that if I had not kept him away from germs the way I did he would have had a better chance. We were very fortunate that he did not die, but he has not been "normal" since. So I changed my ways with my other kids and they get dirty all the time, I still keep my house and their toys clean, just not sanitized every day. My other children get colds even got the swine flu, but always get better quickly.

Maggie - posted on 06/04/2010

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I let my kids play in the dirt. I let them touch the handle of the grocery cart. I let them pick up bugs and plants and play in streams. I never use antibacterial anything - no soaps, no wipes, no sprays.
I have taught my kids to cover their nose and mouth when they sneeze or cough. We stay away from people who are sick if we can help it.
I make sure my kids eat right, play hard and get plenty of rest. I also make sure they get at least 15 minutes of sun exposure without sunscreen every day so their body can make vitamin D - which is very important to your immune system.

Having said all of that let me say this. My boys are 2 and 4. They've each had one virus, which they had within a day of each other, and were over it in a day.
I think people overuse antibacterial products. Never being exposed to any germs is not good for anyone - it can lead to allergies, asthma, and lots of other things.
MRSA wouldn't even exist if we didn't overuse antibiotics for every little sniffle or cough. They are only effective against bacterial infections and yet doctors prescribe antibiotics for viruses. You're better off taking a few days off work or school, staying home to rest and drinking plenty of fluids.
So, the short version of what I just said is:
Don't overmedicate, don't oversanitize.

Candice - posted on 06/04/2010

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Bah! Good old fashioned dirt never hurt anyone. So unless some really gross/actually dangerous happens i.e raw meat on a counter,I don't bother w/ antibacterials.Mama milk is the best defense you can give.I've nursed for two years and never had on illness with my babe.I don't use bleach it's really bad,I use Method Eucalyptus bathroom cleaner for a lot.No toxic chemicals in my house. We refused flu shots as well as the h1n1,for obvious reasons-they can do so much more harm than good. If you do your homework a lot of shots have very questionable ingredients not limited to cells from aborted fetuses.(that's been found in mmr I believe.)

September - posted on 06/03/2010

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I avoid taking our son around people who are sick, I wash his hands several times a day, keep our house clean and I make sure our son eats healthy foods. I try not to over protect our son since being exposed to germs helps to build immunity.

[deleted account]

I haven't really thought about it before to tell you the truth. I guess my children eat a good diet and live in a clean, warm, dry home. I say say everything in moderation. My chn are immunised also. I think sometimes you can't protect your children against everything so we just do what we can and don't become over the top.

Chelsey - posted on 06/02/2010

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Unless you put them in a bubble you can never fully protect your children from getting sick....it's part of life. My kids get their immunizations, we have a fairly clean home, I get them to wash their hands before meals, after being outside (although I'm sure they are eating dirt in some cases lol) and after going to the washroom. I figure I can't isolate them and I can't kill myself worrying that they are going to get sick.

Melissa - posted on 06/02/2010

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I agree with Amy if they are TOO clean then they will not build antibodies against those germs. I do use wipes on shopping carts, wash his hands, keep a tiddy house(not germ free for sure.. lol), and just make sure you are watching who they are around.

Amy - posted on 06/02/2010

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children who are kept 'to clean' usually ending up getting ill, in my opinion kids are supposed to get dirty. aslong as you keep a clean home, teach them to wash thier hands, dont put dirty thing in thier mouths etc they should be good. children become immune to germs when they are in contact with them its very rarley that a child becomes seriously ill from everyday germs. my son is always playing in some sort of dirt, usualy digging up my back garden and he is very rarley ill only the occasional cold. hope this helped x

[deleted account]

I keep a clean house, I keep my child away from other children who appear sick... I keep my child away from children who I have been TOLD are sick. I use antibacterial soap constantly. I use hand sanitizers often. I correct my children when they do something that isn't sanitary. (nose picking mostly but the occasional 'that's been on the floor, don't eat that') I keep any open wounds covered in anti-bacterial ointment and bandaids.
I keep a spray bottle of lemon Lysol close. I use it daily.. for everything. Toys, doorknobs, phones, highchair....
I clean my bathrooms with 93% Alcohol. I use bleach on what is appropriate. Bleach must sit on a surface WET for 10 minutes to effectively kill germs. (read the back of the bleach bottle)

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