by Sally Caruthers
Children love dirt! They find dirt in even the cleanest environment. You can clean all day and still find dirt and germs in your child’s room or on their toys. As parents, you want to protect your children from germs that make them sick. Watching children suffer from illness remains one of the hardest aspects of parenting. Yet germs can be good for your kids.
Expose Your Kids to Germs
Children need germs to stay healthy. While this statement sounds confusing, it actually proves that parents can relax a bit. A child’s immune system easily adapts to everyday germs. Healthy children benefit from germ exposure and develop immunity to local diseases.
Medical studies prove the hygiene hypothesis. Children who are sheltered from parasites, bacteria, and viruses face an increased risk of developing allergies, asthma, and other autoimmune diseases in adulthood. Give your children a healthy start in life by providing a modest exposure to germs.
When children play together, they share unhealthy germs by sneezing and coughing into the air. Vigilant moms spray their child’s sleeve with Lysol after a sneeze. You may choose the more traditional method of stopping the spread of illness (especially colds), by teaching your children to cover their noses during sneezes, to cover their mouths when they cough, and to wash their hands frequently with warm water and soap.
Scrub a Dub
Children can learn proper hand washing techniques to protect themselves from harmful germs. Sing the happy birthday song while scrubbing, and use a kid-friendly soap fragrance to promote hand washing. Young children enjoy stepping onto a sturdy stool to reach the faucet and soap like a big kid.
Sanitize Unhealthy Germs
Hand sanitizer with alcohol does kill harmful germs. Prolonged use, however, also kills healthy germs. Soap and water remain the number one weapons against unhealthy germs. Especially for children who still eat anything they touch, limit hand sanitizer use.
Exercise caution when using harsh chemicals such as bleach and ammonia to clean and sanitize toys. The fumes are toxic and children can become ill if they ingest any chemical lingering on toys. If you must sanitize toys, dilute the chemicals, and the rinse toys thoroughly afterwards cleaning.
Does your house really have to be clean in order to be healthy? Hoarding harbors germs that harm your family, however normal clutter signals a healthy family environment. You do not need to maintain a perfect house for your family’s health.
You should clean the toilets and bathrooms regularly. Wash off faucets, soap dispensers, doorknobs, and drawer pulls throughout your home. Clean television remotes and computer mice. Speaking of mice, eliminate loose rodents or bugs that could leave dangerous droppings.
Your children crawl, play, and lay on the floor every day, not to mention eating off the floor if a tasty morsel of chicken nugget falls off their dinner plate. You want to ensure the floor remains as clean as possible by sweeping and mopping regularly. If your child does eat off the floor, remain calm. That light exposure to floor germs will not harm your child.
Remain vigilant in removing dirt and germs that could cause harm to your child’s breathing health. Vacuum carpets and upholstery several times a week, to remove pet dander. Dust furniture regularly to remove dust.
Germs make your kids sick. However, germs also keep your kids healthy. Relax and remain calm. Using common sense guidelines, your children will grow up to be healthy adults.
A nutrition instructor, Sally Caruthers encourages those with allergies to try IQAir purifiers with hospital grade Hepa filters.