As a mom, you want to do everything possible to keep your children happy, healthy and free from both the cold and flu. As your children grow and start to interact with the outside world, one of the biggest concerns for moms is the germs that children will come into contact with at day-care or at school.
Whether your child is three months, three years or just starting school, here are some tips on cold prevention from real moms!
Charlotte is 24. Her baby, James, is 18 months old.
I always wash my hands with warm water and soap, before picking up my baby. I also make sure anyone else who looks after him knows to wash their hands regularly too - it’s one of the cheapest, easiest and most effective ways to help protect him from the cold and flu virus. I wash James’ hands with soap and water too so that any germs he may have picked up on his hands won’t be transferred to his mouth, nose or eyes.
The cold and flu virus can live on surfaces for up to 48 hours so I pay lots of attention to those high-traffic areas where germs can linger. I like to use a multi-surface disinfectant cleaner, such as Lysol® as, when used as directed, it is able to kill 99.9% of germs. This was especially important once James started crawling.
Babies’ immune systems are weaker than adults so it is important to avoid close contact with any friends, family members or other babies who have been suffering from cold or flu. If this is unavoidable, it’s even more important to practice good hand hygiene, washing hands thoroughly with soap and warm water.
Jodie is 32 and is the mom of a toddler, Isabelle.
When you cough or sneeze into your hands, it is easy to pass on germs to doorknobs, desks, chairs or toys so I have taught Isabelle to sneeze into the crook of her arm to help reduce the spread of germs, such as cold and flu. I am also constantly reminding her not to touch her mouth, nose or eyes with dirty hands. This is to help prevent her passing on any cold and flu viruses from her hands.
Handwashing is very effective at helping to prevent the spread of cold and flu viruses so it was very important for me to show Isabelle how to wash her hands properly with warm water and soap from a young age. I made sure her day-care did the same. Hand washing should be done regularly throughout the day and especially before eating, after going to the toilet and after group playtime.
Soft toys can harbor germs and bacteria so I try to choose toys that you can machine wash, as these will be easier to keep hygienically clean. Adding a laundry sanitizer to your wash will also help keep toys hygienically clean. I follow the instruction on the packaging which say to just add 8 oz of full strength to each wash load. It’s great with reducing malodors in the washing machine and when used as directed, it kills 99.9% of bacteria. Hard toys are a bit easier to clean, just make sure you wipe them down regularly.
Samantha is 35. Her son, Oliver is 8 years old.
Oliver already knows his handwashing routine but a gentle reminder is always a good idea - it is just as important for him to remember to wash his hands with warm water and soap at school as it is at home.
When Oliver is unwell, I think it’s best to keep him off school until he is feeling better to help prevent the spread of cold and flu to other children. Germs and illness spread quickly from one person to another when they are at school. Equally if we notice that any of Oliver’s friends are unwell we usually decide to save play dates or sleepovers for another day.
To help prevent bringing germs from the outside back into our home, I always ask Oliver to take off his shoes and wash his hands with warm water and soap as soon as he gets home from school.
While you can’t completely shield your kids from catching a cold or the flu, especially if they attend day-care or school, teaching them proper cold prevention habits and following some of the advice above can help to decrease their chances of becoming unwell.