Hygiene in the household
How much hygiene do babies and toddlers need? – “Not only clean but pure.” Many parents are worried that their child might get sick as soon as it comes in contact with dirt.
At the latest, when their baby begins to crawl around on the floor, most parents swing the swab much more often than usual. Often, they forget that the largest sprouts lurk in the kitchen.
But what level of hygiene in the household is appropriate? Does everything have to be germ-free?
General hygiene in the household with baby
Babies and toddlers are more susceptible to infectious diseases than adults. Because the defenses are not yet fully developed, infections can also be more severe. Therefore, it is important to protect the little ones from germs and to pay attention to cleanliness in their environment. Not least because of the good hygienic conditions, child mortality is currently very low in industrialized countries.
However, experts are increasingly warning against excessive hygiene in the home. Parents who use sharp chemical cleaners to create a virtually germ-free baby environment and consistently keep any dirt away from their pet take the child’s immune system a chance to mature and become strong.
Paediatricians are even of the opinion that the lack of physical contact of babies and toddlers with their natural environment is a reason for the drastic development of allergies.
Because you should protect your baby with special hygiene measures on the one hand, but at the same time the child’s defense system needs contact with bacteria to develop properly, special rules apply about cleanliness, especially during the first three years of life.
General hygiene in the kitchen
It has long been proven that it is not toilet goggles but flushing sponges followed by refrigerators that are the ultimate breeding grounds for pathogenic germs. Especially in the kitchen, where food is stored, and meals are prepared, however, maximum hygiene must prevail.
- Wash hands before and after preparing meals!
- Clean work surfaces, chopping boards and cooking utensils with hot water and detergent. Let wood objects air dry.
- Do without sponges.
- Clean the dishwasher brush regularly in the dishwasher or boil it at least once a week.
- Change rags, dish towels, and towels daily.
- Clean sinks consistently.
- Empty trash cans daily and wash them once a week.
- Cook meat, fish and egg dishes well.
- Check the refrigerator temperature regularly (it should be below 7 ° C). Wash the fridge about once a month with vinegar water and defrost twice a year.
Hygiene for vials, teats and children’s dishes
In the first year of life, your baby’s immune system still needs special support. To safely kill germs, pacifiers and bottle nipples should be sterilized or boiled daily in the steam generator. This also applies to all vials and drinking cups until the beginning of the crawling age, because germs are particularly likely to settle on their floors.
Then it is sufficient to put the vial with the remaining dishes in the dishwasher and to clean at 60 ° C. Unless you have a dishwasher, you should do the dishes as soon as possible after the meal. Then germs and bacteria have no chance at all to multiply.
From the second year of life, it is sufficient to clean the nipple and pacifier with hot water and some detergent. To ensure that no residual detergent remains, thorough rinsing under running water is important. Under no circumstances should you take down fallen pacifiers or porridges for “cleaning” in the mouth or lick it off? This is because caries bacteria can get into your baby’s mouth.
No matter what the advertisement advocates: Even if your baby is still very small, basically no disinfecting orgies are necessary. It is best to clean what is necessary, but at least once a week thoroughly – that’s enough.
Of course, fall in a household with small children more crumbs on the floor, or it spills porridge next to it. Therefore, the brushing frequency will certainly increase a bit compared to the time without a child. Otherwise, wipe and suck, as before.
It has now been proven that antibacterial cleaners and disinfectants have their necessary justification in hospitals, in some social institutions or epidemics. In the normal household cleaning, however, they have no business.
The aggressive chemical ingredients, whether as particle residues or as vapors, harm babies and toddlers rather than their use. Use hot water for your household and possibly a cleaner that is completely biodegradable.
Hygiene while playing
Of course, as a child, you often have the saying “Dirt cleanses your stomach!” belongs. Although there is a grain of truth in it, the motto is not general. Children up to the age of three to take almost anything in the mouth. What is quite unproblematic in your own home, because you have control over the state of cleanliness of the sucked or chewed things, can be quite different in the garden or on the playground.
It is perfectly normal for your child to put some earth or sand in their mouth while playing. As a rule, there is also no increased risk of infection here. And if your filthy little smack had a lot of fun splashing around, it’ll be enough to have a bath in the evening to get rid of the dirt.
However, some things should be taboo for the Kindermund. This includes, for example, the trashcan contents, the litter box or the keychain, which has already passed through numerous hands.
TIPS FROM MIDWIFE INA ELMER
- Breastfeeding is a great thing regarding hygiene: the breast milk is hygienically clean and at the same time has the right temperature. Also, antibodies and immunoglobulins as ingredients of breast milk protect the baby from many infections.