Infections can be avoided both by decreasing the exposure to germs and by boosting your child’s immunity. Here are 6 powerful ways to decrease germ exposure:
- Switching Daycares: Using a daycare of 6 or fewer children dramatically decreases the germ exposure (and illness), especially in the winter months. Unfortunately, this may not be the most practical option.
- The Not-So-Secret Weapon: We all know that hand washing is a good idea, but when a daycare actually does wash children’s and provider’s hands at key moments, the results are spectacular. Key moments? The most important times are after nose wiping, after diapering or toileting, before meals, and before food preparation. Before a child picks his or her nose would be nice but is not quite practical :^).
- Instant Hand Sanitizers: Talk about convenient! A little dab will kill 99.99% of germs without any water or towels. I’m glad they are available with an active ingredient like Thymol that can kill 99.99% of germs naturally. It is an antiseptic, not an antibiotic, so resistance can’t develop. And here’s the cool part–it’s fun. Many kids think it’s a treat to get to use it! We asked our son’s daycare to try it, and they began washing all those times they knew they should.
- Paper Towels: (Instead of shared cloth towels.)
- Sleeping Mats: Washing of sleeping mats less than once a week results in more infections.
- Air Filters: HEPA filters can remove 99.97%+ of the pollen, dust, animal dander, even bacteria from the air. Certain houseplants can also be excellent air purifiers (if no one is allergic to them).
Reviewed by: Khanh-Van Le-Bucklin
Last reviewed: September 12, 2007