As I dropped each child off for the first day of school, I called after them with a supportive, “I love you, have a great day!” Then unable to control it… a shrieking, “WASH YOUR HANDS – A LOT!”
The 1st day of school is also the 1st day our little ones get exposed to all the nasty little germ bugs of other kids! Then brings those germs home… when you’re pregnant or have a baby at home, this is a particular concern.
The best way to decrease or prevent the spread of infections – colds, the dreaded stomach virus, even MRSA- is good, old fashioned, hand washing. The best is plain soap and water at the sink but if you aren’t near a sink, there are a number hand sanitizer gels on the market, but you’ll want to wash at the sink as soon as possible:
• Before, after and during food preparation
• Before eating
• After changing baby’s diaper, helping a toddler in the bathroom or using the bathroom yourself
• After touching garbage
• After touching an animal or your pet’s food or treats
• Before and after treating a wound or caring for someone who is sick
• As soon as you get home from school or work
• Whenever your hands are visibly dirty
Proper hand washing routine includes:
• Running water – warm or cold
• Lathering up your hands washing the front, back and between fingers (I take this up a notch and including scratching the palms to get under the nails. I have 3 boys and they get DIRTY)
• Lather for 20 seconds – approximately the time it takes to sing whole the ABC song.
• Rinse well
• Dry with a clean towel or air dry
Have fun soaping up and have a happy and healthy new school year!
-Sheera Thomas, RN, C-Efm, CBC, CCE & mother of 4