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| Baby and Toddler

02/03/14

Fever Pitch: Keeping babies and kids germ free keeps parents on their toes

The cold and flu season is bad enough for adults. It can be even worse for babies and kids.
Parents spend plenty of time fretting during the winter months and that concern has little to do with cold weather and snow covered roads.
Instead, attention is turned to keeping kids free of germs, and tensions rise for mom and dad as they go all out to make sure a cold or the flu steer clear of their children at all costs. Babies, especially, aren't yet equipped to handle viruses and colds as their immune systems haven't fully developed. New parents play particularly close attention to that fact, and go as far as keeping their babies in a bit of a bubble when attempting to stave off any and all types of germs.
So what's the best way to keep kids free and clear of getting sick?
The general rules for adults applies for kids: washing hands and avoid coming into contact with those you know are infected. The latter is a little harder to manage when it comes to children since going to school isn't optional. Parents must take responsibility to keep their kids home from school if they're not feeling well so that classrooms are filling up with sick kids.

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Babies falls under a similar sick watch with a bit of a twist. Every friend, family member and co worker wants to visit you to see the new baby. It's up to mom and dad to play the role of watch dog and keep all the cousins, aunts and uncles among others clear of the baby if there's even the slightest chance any of them are carrying so much as a cold.
As much as visitors are considered the villains when it comes to keeping kids and babies healthy, you also have to point to two other factors: public places and toys. The former is an easy fix; just stay home as much as you can when the cold and flu season hits.
Toys, especially stuffed animals or plush ones, carry germs, plain and simple. Parents often are so busy washing hands with soap and water that they forget to clean up the toys in a similar fashion. Even a quick spray of Lysol or a fast swipe with an anti bacterial wipe would do the trick.
Obviously, protecting your young children and newborns from getting sick is an equally tricky proposition and one that parents take seriously. There's a fine line between spending every day and night at home and never leaving your house in comparison to completely ignoring any of the aforementioned prevention suggestions.
Finding a happy medium and exacting a little common sense seems to be a recipe for a rather mild season for colds and the flu for kids.

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