Friday, January 25, 2008

Keep It Clean

It has been proven time and again that one of the most effective ways to get rid of germs and keep healthy is frequent hand washing. Babies who are premature are extremely susceptible to any virus or germ so it essential that you stay as healthy as possible. This can become even more difficult when you have small children. Here are some tips and products that can help make it easier to keep you and your kids (and their hands) clean.

Wash Your Hands. A lot. Try and wash your hands as much as possible. If you go to the store, wash your hands when you get home. Wash your hands frequently at work, especially when you go through public places.

Wash Your Hands for at least 20 seconds. That is how long it takes to wash all of the germs off of your hands. Try singing Happy Birthday as you wash your hands to make sure that you are washing long enough. And don’t forget about the top of your hands – they need some cleaning too!

Make It Fun
Kids often do a quick and not very through job of washing their hands. A nurse once told me that she had her nephews make “soap gloves” while washing their hands. This ensured that it took them longer and that they covered the front and back of their hands. We quickly implemented that and now our son loves to make soap gloves.

Companies are now coming out with soap that encourages kids to take longer washing their hands and have fun doing it.

SquidSoap by Airborne – According to their website: “It's the only liquid-soap dispenser with a specially designed pump that stamps a child's hand with vegetable dye. It takes about 20 seconds of thorough hand washing to remove the ink mark, leaving the child with clean hands.” Cool stuff. It’s fun and it helps you know if your kid has really washed his/her hands.

Dial ColorClean – This was featured in the February issue of Parent’s Magazine. This new antibacterial soap has “Timer Beads” that break open while your child washes her/his hands. The beads turn green or blue and slide around so your child really has to work hard to clean the soap off. I love that companies are getting innovative about this kind of stuff.

Hand Sanitizer – Companies like Purell have made hand sanitizers a standard for cleaning hands. Throw a bottle in your purse, diaper bag and car. When your baby comes home, keep a bottle in key areas where your baby will be so that you or your guests can quickly clean their hands. Our son thinks that Purell is fun so we have him use it after he has sneezed, coughed or touched his nose.

Give kids a choice about what soap they can use. Choose two soaps with different colors and scents so that kids can see a noticeable difference between the two.

Create a sticker reward chart for kids to use when they wash their hands. Give them a prize after they have washed their hands a set amount of time. Have a contest to see who washed their hands the most in one day.

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