Yeah, I have super powers…well, it’s more like super cleaners, that help me to combat the little invaders that make my family sick.
Let me first start off by clarifying that I’m not some crazy germ-a-phobe. I let my kids play in the McDonalds playground (which is a festering petri dish), I have never bought one of those shopping cart covers nor do I carry around Lysol wipes. I do however disinfect my home, and here is why:
My eldest daughter Izzy was sick a lot as a baby. She had pneumonia at a year old and was basically on antibiotics for the first three years of her life…straight. If I took her ANYWHERE where other kids played, she was sick three days later. She had chronic tonsillitis, ear infections and colds. She still has a horrible immune system, but it’s getting better, so I have relaxed a bit in my germ killing duties…but my skills are still there when I need them. Having a sick child is just about the worst thing a parent has to deal with. I found that just by doing a few simple things I could greatly reduce how long she was sick for or prevent sickness all together.
I run a daycare from my home, so sick kids is a weekly thing for me. Fortunately, it is usually not my own children who are sick, but other little ones who really want to share. I have one family in particular that have CHRONIC PINK EYE. Yes, green dripping red eyes and yes, their parents bring them to my house despite me asking them not to. What can I say, I hate confrontation and would rather follow them around with bleach and Lysol all day than fire them…I’m a bit of a push-over.
So today, when the little girl came with the festering eye for third time in two weeks, I sighed and got out my arsenal of germ fighters.
Here are some things that I do to reduce the spread of bacteria and viruses in my home:
No sharing towels. Hand towels are a no-no when someone is really sick. A cold is one thing, but for PINK EYE, the flu or other more severe illnesses, we use paper towels to dry our hands.
Disinfect door knobs, soap dispensers, light switches, sink taps and toilets. I do this MULTIPLE times throughout the day. It only takes a few seconds to give it a quick wipe with either a Lysol wipe or a cloth with disinfectant on it. My favourite disinfectant is Scrub Free with Bleach spray… I have no doubt it will kill everything, unlike many alcohol based cleaners.
Run the toys through the dishwasher. I put smaller toys in a mesh bag and run them through the dishwasher or soak them in the tub. Larger toys, or ones that can’t get wet get a wipe down or sprayed with Lysol Spray.
Change your pillow case, every night. When my kids are sick, I change their pillow cases EVERY NIGHT or at least put a towel down that can be washed the next day. Kids droll, cough, drip boogies and rub their eyes on their pillow all night long. Some bacteria can live for up to 72 hours or longer on surfaces, which just reinfects your child each night.
Proper hand washing. I make my kids wash their hands a lot, even more so when they are sick or if a friend is sick in our home. Before meals, after meals, after recess, after they go to the bathroom…plus I throw in random Purell breaks whenever there is a gooey eye or green snot nosed kid in the house.
Today I made sure that everything pillow and blanket the little girl laid on was washed, I cleaned all the toys she played with and I washed her hands every time she rubbed her eye….which was A LOT. AM I exhausted? Yes. Does my house smell like Lysol? Sure does. Did I just save my kids from a week of missed school, painful eye drops and constant disinfecting? Hopefully.
If you have little ones in daycare, please keep them home if they are really sick. It isn’t fair to the daycare provider, the other children or the other children’s parents for you to bring your contagious child to daycare. And if your little one seems to be suffering from a never ending cold, embrace your own Germ Killing Super Hero. You may be surprised at how a little prevention saves a lot of heart ache.