16 Nov Colds, ear infections, stomach flu, Oh my!
This morning, I sat down with WCCO (link below) to talk about hand washing. As every parent knows–kids are going to get sick and its always the worst when your kids are sick. I remember the first time my daughter threw up and she looked like “what just happened? Make it stop!” I had such empathy for her. I, myself, hate throwing up, I can’t imagine what it feels like to be her!
Young children are vulnerable in so many ways–from the inability to raise their heads on their own to lacking a strong immune system. Just as important as teaching them to walk, talk, ABCs and 123s, we also need to teach them how to defend themselves against those terrible “bugs!”
Its bound to happen and unfortunately some children are more susceptible than other at different times in their lives. The childcare setting is a common place for children getting those bugs and sometimes over and over again until their immune system builds up. At Little Newtons we have some children that are rarely sick and others that are very often sick! The best line of defense against these bugs is HAND WASHING! Sounds so simple right?
Not only are there immune systems immature, but they are at an age where they put EVERYTHING in their mouths. After they put it in their mouth, they share it with their friend. Germs spread.
The CDC references hand washing as our “do it yourself vaccination.” We can control our health to a high degree and teach the little ones to do the same. Hand washing is not just for before you eat and after the bathroom/diaper changes. It is when you get home from work, come in from playing outside, after eating, using electronics, after blowing your nose (hold a lot of bacteria!). What great opportunities to teach your little ones to wash. They follow your lead in everything you do–use it to keep them safe!
A few interesting facts about hand washing:
-Recent research shows that antibacterial soap is not any better than regular hand soap–I still can’t get on the train. I has to be a habit that I still buy antibacterial soap at my house. Even after reading the research. Maybe I feel like I will get sick less.
-Only about 5 percent of people wash their hands long enough–interesting the temperature of the water isn’t as relevant as it used to be because the temperature to kill the bacteria on your hands would ultimately scald it. Still, I wash my hands with as hot of water as I can handle….
-Lastly, I leave you with this: 80 percent of all infectious diseases are transmitted by touch!