Infection Protection

Germs

Household germs are running rampant in your kitchen. With a few simple changes in your routine, you can take back what is rightfully yours and tell those yucky E. coli and salmonella critters to take a hike.

Get a disinfectant at the store. One that actually says it's a disinfectant, not just soap or a fancy cleanser. Use it all around your kitchen—cutting boards, sinks, countertops, refrigerator handles, and the like.

Wet sponges and dishrags are perfect homes for happy germs. Toss your sponges into the dishwasher every night. If you don't have a dishwasher, dump them into a bowl with some disinfectant and pour boiling water on them—then rinse and hang them to dry or put them in the dryer. Don't let them sit on the sink and stay wet. Put your dishrags in the washing machine, using hot water with detergent and bleach.

Wash Your Hands!

Invest in a liquid soap for regular use by you and the kids. Get your hands wet, squirt some soap on the hands, and rub them together (do it like you mean it!) for at least 15 seconds—or until you get through the ABC song.

Get between each finger, under the nails, and on the top and palms. Get a dry towel and dry your hands, then turn off the faucet using the towel. You turned on the faucet with your germy hands, so you don't want to immediately re-infect them by bare-handing the faucet.

Get a stepstool for the smaller kids so they can reach the faucet and soap. Teach them how to wash their hands and make sure they know to do so before and after they eat, after using the toilet, after playing outside, and in general any time they've been handling icky stuff or their hands look dirty.

If kids get positive reinforcement for this, they'll be happy to wash their hands. Make it fun and sing a song while they wash. To show them how germs hang on, put some nutmeg in a little bit of petroleum jelly and rub it on their hands before they wash. Explain that the nutmeg represents germs. They'll have to do a good job washing to get rid of the nutmeg.

A little time spent teaching the basics makes a huge difference in how much time you have to spend caring for a sick child!

 

Important disclaimer: The information on pkids.org is for educational purposes only and should not be considered to be medical advice. It is not meant to replace the advice of the physician who cares for your child. All medical advice and information should be considered to be incomplete without a physical exam, which is not possible without a visit to your doctor.


Top 4 ways to prevent the spread of disease:

  1. Wash your hands often.

  2. Get immunized.

  3. Practice standard precautions.

  4. Disinfect regularly.