As the seasons and weather begin to change, flu and RSV season is right around the corner. Keep your baby safe and healthy from the spread of germs by following these tips:
This simple tip cannot be overstated. Make it a habit to make washing your hands the first thing you do when you get home each day from wherever you go. Get your baby in the habit of regular hand-washing, as well, especially because babies love putting their hands in their mouths.
If you’re out and about and hand-washing isn’t an option, keep hand sanitizer handy to ward off germs. Wipe down shopping cart handles with wipes at the store, and anything else within reason that you’ll be handling.
If someone you know has been sick or in contact with sick people, wait a while before you bring the baby around them again. There is an incubation period for illnesses, meaning that even before exhibiting symptoms people are contagious, which is why even those who are around sick people but aren’t sick themselves should still stay away for a few days to ensure they aren’t carrying the illness.
Along those lines, it’s okay to let your family and social circle know that you appreciate them steering clear of your baby and home when they are sick or are around sick people. Since my daughter was born in December I made a Facebook post letting my friends and family know that we would be limiting visitors during the winter to prevent her from getting sick, especially because a nasty strain of the flu was going around the schools that year. Don’t worry about offending anyone - a sick baby is not worth protecting anyone’s feelings.
Talk to your doctor about getting the flu shot, even when you’re pregnant. Because babies under the age of 6 months cannot get the flu shot, this causes them to be at serious risk of complications from the flu. It’s important to protect your baby by protecting yourself.
Ensure that high-risk areas for bacterial growth stay disinfected. Cooking and food prep surfaces, eating surfaces, door knobs and handles, light switches, toilet handles, and sink handles are all high-traffic areas that should be disinfected regularly. Your phone and computer should also be frequently disinfected because of their high frequency of being touched.
It’s much easier to be proactive and prevent illness than it is to treat and care for a sick baby, so take some time every day to battle bacteria and enjoy a healthy holiday season with your bundle of joy.