A Little Health...How to Skirt a Spring Cold
I recently had a baby. At two weeks we all got the flu. Three weeks later we all got a nasty cold and the baby got RSV.
Then I got angry at germs--and we've been healthy ever since!
I interviewed a NICU nurse, my pediatrician and read a germ book by a pediatric infectious disease specialist. I've put their recommendations into practice, and sickness has stayed away, despite our very social schedule that includes lots of contact with other children. (And my breathing into a communal microphone as I teach aerobics.)
1. 80% of all colds are spread through hand contact.
2. Length of time washing hands GREATLY decreases germs; have kids sing the alphabet song; it gets them washing for over one minute.
3. Germs love wet. Drying hands is almost more important than washing them; towels dry better than dryers.
4. Wash/disinfect hands at these crucial ten times: upon waking, after changing diapers or going potty, before meals, before and after any public place like the gym, stores, church and family gatherings. Sanitize hands before and after school, after each recess, after coughing into your hand or arm, after blowing your nose and before cooking.
5. Families who use bleach in their laundry are 50% less likely to get frequent colds. Bleach cleansers kill cold viruses best.
6. Germs love wet; after bleaching sinks, surfaces and knobs, always towel dry off. Use new towels each day, and have separate towels for hands, cooking, and dishes.
7. It is useless to wash hands and then turn the water faucets and touch the bathroom door knob- you just reinfect your hands. Solution: use a disinfectant wipe when you wake up, cleaning these first thing. Include the toilet knob. You could even use a towel to open the door or turn the knobs if someone is sick in the family.
8. Close the toilet before you flush; leaving it open spreads germs into the air; potty germs carry the cold and flu virus. Cell phones and laptops sometimes have even more germs than toilets- sanitize these often.
9. Coughs and sneezes carry to a three-foot radius. Cough into your arm. Throw away all dirty tissues immediately. Sanitize your hands. Stay away from sick folks.
10. New family motto: share love and nothing else. It's tough, but if you don't want illness, then do not share cups, tooth brushes, tooth paste, towels, or straws. If a child gets sick, gently quarantine the child, change sheets frequently, disinfect all toys weekly, and keep disinfectant on you at all times.