Let’s be honest, your home is probably never going to be spotless when you have young kids. While you do your best to keep things tidy, it won’t be long before your house becomes a playground for clutter once more. That is normal, although it’s understandable that parents worry about the state of the home for the sake of their children’s health. Bacteria can hide on every surface, so how do you remove them to prevent childhood infections?
It’s important to know that most cleaning materials are toxic if consumed by humans. But younger children likely do not understand that. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t use them. The tips below allow for safer use so your home is clean and your children safe at the same time.
Set up a routine
The first step in tackling germs in your home is setting up a cleaning routine. Fortunately, having a young child in the house will mean that you probably already stick to a rigid schedule. Children respond to structure, after all, so try and use this to your advantage.
You must disinfect your kitchen surfaces at least two or three times per week to avoid contamination, so you must look for gaps in your routine to make this possible. Perhaps you can quickly spray your surfaces during nap time or when the child is at nursery. Do not use these chemicals in the presence of your child to help them be safe from any harmful chemicals.
A toy rotation system helps prevent childhood infections
The biggest carrier of bacteria in your home is most likely your child’s toys. These objects are ones they probably use daily, and they can also share them with other kids who come to visit.
It is common for illnesses such as ear infections and ringworm to spread quickly from child to child, so you need to keep these toys clean where possible. You should research the symptoms of ringworm to know what you should be looking out for to catch it early on.
As you do not want to leave your children without something to occupy themselves with, try to set up a toy rotation system. For example, put some toys in a basket that is easy to reach while you disinfect the rest.
Then, you can switch out the dirty toys for the newly cleaned ones and repeat the process. Try to keep on top of this system, especially if you have regular visitors.
Stay up to date with childcare staff
As mentioned above, many childhood illnesses spread rapidly among kids, and it can be a struggle to shield them from infection when they attend daycare. However, there are steps you can take to keep your child safe during these early years.
The childcare staff will be clued in on which child has come down with an illness, so make sure that you regularly touch base with the care providers to get this info. They may not be able to tell you how much time your child has spent with the infectious party, but you can take precautions, nonetheless.
For instance, ensure that you thoroughly wash all the clothes they are wearing and give them a bath, even if it does interfere with your busy schedule. A scabies mite can hide in clothing for days, so make sure that you take appropriate action to protect yourself and your child from such an illness.
Keep the vacuum close by too
Let’s face it, young children are usually not the most sanitary of eaters. They can make a big mess of the immediate area, with their highchair looking like a disaster zone once mealtimes are finished.
While it is normal to wipe down and disinfect this highchair after every use, many parents forget how far their kid’s food has spread. Crumbs that land on a carpet may sit there for days and become a beacon for bacteria after a while.
It doesn’t take long to whip out the vacuum after mealtime. So, take a few minutes to give the surface under your child’s highchair a good clean even if you cannot see the remains of any food.
Be extra vigilant when you have pets
A family cat or dog can provide you with some extra company and teach your child some responsibility as they get older. Unfortunately, these animals can also be the source of any number of illnesses. But this should not be too much of a problem if you disinfect the house regularly.
However, you may need to be a bit stricter with cleaning routines when you have a pet. For instance, encourage your child to wash their hands after playing with their pet and ensure that they understand why it’s important to do so.
There are only so many illnesses that you can prevent as a parent. But having a pet does not need to increase the likelihood of this occurrence if you are vigilant.
Find out how to treat cuts and scrapes in kids in this first aid guide
Takeaway on childhood infections and the home
Your child needs to encounter some bacteria to build up a strong immune system, so keeping your house spotless 24/7 doesn’t have to happen. But do try to stay on top of the spread of possible infections using ideas such as those ones mentioned above to keep your child as safe as possible during their formative years.