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Coughing, sniffing, fever, spots on the skin – there is no end to the problems that seem to come along for our kids every winter. These diseases seem to simply float through the air and attack our children! Well, most of these infections can be blamed on germs. They travel through air, water or touch from an infected person to a healthy person. When they invade the body, they can manifest in the form of several diseases! As parents, protecting kids against such potential infections becomes one of our primary responsibility. But how can you keep these pesky germs away?
Keeping a little baby away from germs seems to be a mammoth task. He is so delicate and sensitive that there is no end to our anxiety. But when your baby grows up, the problem only gets worse! Kids are explorers and can go around the entire house scouting and hunting to satisfy their inquisitive nature. This activity exposes them to dirt, dust or pests that could be the carriers of infectious micro-organisms. This is why we as parents must undertake certain measures to keep germs far away from the little ones.
The good news is that it does not take a complicated arsenal to build a germ-free house. All you need to practice is a little hygiene, and you can go a long way in protecting your family against common diseases.
This winter, make sure you follow these practices to keep germs and infections far away from your children:
1. Hand-Wash After These Activities
Washing hands is of prime importance and must become a house-rule – both for children and adults! Not washing hands can give access to germs who take advantage of the body’s lowered immunity during the winter season. When your child is little, you can keep his hands clean by periodic sponging, wiping, and moisturising. But when your baby grows up, he needs to be taught the importance of hand wash. Plus, if you have both a tiny baby and an active toddler at home, you need to be doubly careful. Make sure the children in the house (and adults!) wash hands after:
- Playing with mud
- Playing with a pet
- Putting hands in the mouth
- Going to the toilet
- Before and after eating food
It should be made a point and a strict rule for every family member to wash his hands properly after all the above mentioned activities are carried out. No exception!
2. Play Area Precautions
Keep the play area in the house clean and tidy. The floor of the play area should be wiped everyday with a disinfectant. All the toys should be given a regular wash to bust off the dirt particles settling on them. For the cloth toys, a regular hot-water cleaning regime is required to disinfect them.
3. Sneezing and Coughing
These two are the biggest problems many children face in winter – and also the biggest source of problems! When kids sneeze or cough, they dispel germs into the air which can travel into the body of another baby in the house, or some other family member. Since this is a common problem in winter, it is essential to try and limit the damage. If your kids are old enough, teach them to cover the mouth while coughing or sneezing, and not to sneeze or cough on anyone’s face. Also, they must wash hands if they sneeze or cough into their hands – every time. Around your child, practise these ‘good manners’ yourself or you may end up spreading germs involuntarily!
4. Keep These Objects Away From The Child
In winter, when the immunity of the body dips, it is easy to get germs from regular household objects. As a rule, some objects must be kept at a distance from the child. These include:
- Nappy buckets
- Unwashed fruits and veggies
- Dustbins with open lids
- Brooms and dustpans
- Dirty laundry
It is likely that some of these objects may really interest your child. Kids find the strangest things intriguing and end up being fascinated by these things more than with their toys! Please keep them away. Ensure he does not end up playing with them!
Warning: Toilet and Bathroom Precautions!
These two are two areas of the house that are rife with germs. Don’t allow your child to touch or play with old soap-cases, cleaning material or the toilet seat. Another sure-shot way of germ-busting your kids is to flush only after closing the lid of the seat. Teach your family members also to flush only after shutting the lid of the toilet seat. Flushing with the lid up can launch germs into air, and those can then land on faucet handles, doors and other things in the washroom.
No match to this one – it is a sureshot way of keeping your child germ-free and infection-free! The antibodies present in breast milk are essential for the baby as it helps in strengthening his immune system. It also enhances the child’s brainpower and reduces the risk of developing the highly prevalent insulin dependent diabetes in children during their later ages. (Also, if you’re feeling under the weather in winter, owing to seasonal blues, this is a great idea for moms to feel better owing to the hormonal rush!)
6. The Right Diet and Sleep
The body needs added strength and immunity to fight against germs in winter. Make sure you serve these fruits and vegetables in the meals: green leafy vegetables, carrots, beans, oranges and apples. They must be included in their daily diet, as they provide vitamins and minerals necessary for growth and development. Also make sure to clean your child’s lunchbox regularly, as it can serve as carriers of germs from the playground or daycare. Use a disinfectant to clean them properly.
Together with the right diet, adequate sleep is also essential. A child should have good, sound sleep of a minimum of 8-10 hours in a day. Most of the metabolic reactions take place in his body while he is asleep. Not getting this sleep makes his body more susceptible to a germ attack, followed by illness.
As your child grows up, generate more awareness about germs. Teach them that washing hands properly, brushing teeth, having a bath twice a day and wearing clean clothes are some rules to be followed to remain healthy and germ-free. So, fear not, moms. Just follow these easy steps and those harmful germs will stay away from your darlings!