The thought of my special needs child getting sick causes me lots of mommy anxiety. I do everything I can to keep germs away from my little one. I even use Lysol on my son’s stroller wheels to keep the floor clean and germ-free.
Is this excessive? Am I too protective? I don’t think so. In raising a child with a tracheotomy, I have to be vigilant. Whether you are raising a special needs child or you want to keep your child healthy, the following tips for keeping kids healthy can help to create a clean environment for your little ones.
While shopping at a major local retailer, I pushed my son in his stroller down the aisle. We passed another family going in the opposite direction. Then the teenager sneezed without a hand over her mouth, spreading germs directly in front of her. After cringing, I was grateful we had already passed by them.
Droplets from a sneeze can travel between 13 and 17 feet. An Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lydia Bourouiba found small droplets travel up to 200 times further than larger ones suspending in the air indefinitely.
“Sneezing into your elbow may break up the coherence of the cloud, dividing the number of droplets and reducing their [travel] range,” Bourouiba says.
Tip: Sneeze into a tissue or your elbow.
When my son leaned over and licked the table at a fast-food restaurant, it petrified me that he would get sick. I could not be sure what germs were on the table. Thankfully, he didn’t catch anything.
What other touchable surfaces harbor bacteria?
Touching shopping cart handles and door knobs can spread infection. In a 2017 study commissioned by reusethisbag.com, the researchers identified 75% of germs in grocery carts as harmful. The study also revealed superstore fridge doors have 1,255 times more bacteria than your cell phone.
Tip: Wipe down shopping cart handles every time. Use provided wipes offered by many stores at the entrance or use a disinfectant wipe of your own.
Other touchable surfaces to disinfect with Lysol wipes:
1. Restaurant Table & Menu’s
2. Your child’s iPad
3. Cell Phones (I also use a SoapBox Ultraviolet Light Box.)
5. Credit Card Pen at Checkout
Every time I return home, I wash my hands. If I touched a questionable surface while being away, I don’t want to touch my child potentially transferring germs to my healthy son. I use soap and running water.
The Mayo Clinic suggests washing your hands for 20 seconds. You can count up to 20 or even recount the alphabet for good measure.
When soap and water are not available, the Mayo Clinic suggests an alcohol-based sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. These products make my hands tingle; however, the sanitizers with aloe prevent this side effect.
Tip From Mayo Clinic: Rub your hands, palm to palm, vigorously for at least 20 seconds. Remember to scrub all surfaces, including the backs of your hands, wrists, between your fingers and under your fingernails.
4. Take Your Shoes Off At Home
When I realized how many germs are on our shoes, not only did I start taking my shoes off, but I sprayed Lysol on my son’s stroller after going out to the store, mall or restaurant.
Researchers at the University of Houston found about 40% of shoes were carrying a bacterium called “C.diff.” These difficult to treat spores are often found in hospitals. This condition can cause diarrhea, cramping, fever, nausea, dehydration and can cause colitis, a serious inflammation of the colon.
Removing your shoes at the door is one way to avoid bringing this bacterium in your home. Taking this advice, I take off my shoes and use house slippers. When guests visit, I provide shoe covers as an alternative to removing their shoes. (You can find shoe covers on Amazon.) I even have a friend who brings her own slippers from home.
Tip: Remove your shoes before entering your home.
What are your tips for keeping kids healthy? Share your tips in the comments below.