12 March 2020, by Cheryl Wee
The word that’s bound to pop up and be the center of our conversations these days is all about the “Covid-19”.
It’s brought about uncertainty, panic and introduced whole new levels of being hygienic. It’s perhaps more eminent among families with young kids and older folks at home. My personal take is, it’s great that we are more aware of hygiene standards and health right now, but keeping calm and getting on with life is just as important.
We’re uncertain about how long this will last, and we can’t possibly lock ourselves away; we can only take the necessary precautions, be socially responsible and be vigilant. Having said that, I’d like to share some steps on how I am keeping up with hygiene at work and at home, which is beneficial to keep up at any point in time.
My line of work requires me to meet people daily, the measures to step up on hygiene was not only for me but also for my fellow colleagues.
Hand sanitisers: At work, we have large-sized sanitisers placed in prominent areas to remind us to keep our hands clean. In my bag, I carry two types of sanitisers, an alcohol-based and a more child-friendly, non-alcohol-based sanitiser.
I personally use the alcohol-based ones as studies have found that sanitisers with a higher alcohol concentration are more effective in killing germs; I do, however, find them rather drying which may not be suitable for kids, especially babies. So, the best way is to actually wash our hands thoroughly with soap and water.
Another product I found useful for my kids is BioShield Kiddie, which isn’t apt for this virus situation but it’s great to protect kids from HFMD, which I find is equally as important to protect the kids from. I use this for the kids before heading out to indoor play areas, or playgroups.
Shower: The moment I’m home, I’ll head straight to the shower and get changed before carrying the kids, especially Emma as she is still very young. Most cold and flu viruses can live for several hours on porous surfaces like clothes. Let’s say a sick person sneezed on you during your commute, chances are, those germs will stay with and on you the entire day until your next shower and change of clothes! Hence in the light of this virus, I strongly encourage everyone to take a shower and have a fresh change of clothes once you are home before hugging your little ones.
Steriliser: It is important to sterilise the kids’ stuff, especially those that they put in their mouths. I use a Cuchen UV Steriliser for all my kids’ bottles, toothbrushes, and teethers. The steriliser is capacious which makes it efficient to sterilise more things at one go. It does have a downside as it doesn’t dry quickly as some other brands. But the benefits of having a bigger capacity with 4 functions (drying, sterilizing, storage and ventilation) outweigh its blind spots.
Cleaning day: Clutters are common when you have kids at home. We make it a point to schedule a cleaning day, to sterilise the toys and thoroughly clean the nooks and corners where we store things. It’s also a helpful habit to categorise and keep the kids’ toys and necessities in storage boxes and drawers.
That said, as much as I believe in maintaining hygiene, I also believe in not overdoing it. I strongly believe in exposing our kids to some dirt, dust, germs, and bacteria to develop their immunity. Nature has made us such that kids build their immunity from exposure to some of these germs and bacteria. We allow Marc to run on the grass barefooted or just outdoors, and we don’t over sanitise their hands when they come into contact with nature, plants, and soil.
Here is an extract of a book Dirt is Good: The Advantage of Germs for Your Child’s Developing Immune System:
“It’s fine to wash their hands if there’s a cold or a flu virus around, but if they’re interacting with a dog, and the dog licks their face, that’s not a bad thing. In fact, that could be extremely beneficial for the child’s health”.
All in all, keeping clean and hygienic should be the way of life, with or without the virus. But my personal take is also not to get too carried away and stressed about it. We can and should do our part to be socially responsible by maintaining hygiene and take the necessary measures when we fall ill, but other than that life goes on and all will be fine!
Stay healthy! Keep Safe and sane 😁