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B Baby Health

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Tips for keeping baby healthy and germ free

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Babies are most likely to get germs from older children.

In families with multiple ages, older kids contract germs at school and bring them home, sharing with their younger siblings through two different ways -- respiratory and direct contact.

Older siblings transfer germs to younger siblings by coughing, sneezing, or kissing them. Or they come in direct contact with germs and pass them on to babies by touching them or playing with them before washing their hands.

Tell older children to kiss Baby on top of her head or on the bottoms of her feet, but stay away from the face. Germs transfer mainly through a baby's nasal, mouth, and eyes.

Washing Hands: Soap & Water

The best way to fight germs is to wash your kids' hands the old-fashioned way with soap and water, s. It's non-irritating and kills 99.9 percent of germs. Make sure to scrub their little hands together for 20-30 seconds.

Washing Hands: Sanitizers vs. Wipes

In the absence of water, use instant hand-sanitizers. They use alcohol to kill germs, and since kids always put their hands in their mouths, especially in the thumb-sucking stage, they aren't safe to use.

Instead, use wipes such as the cleansing towelettes to get rid of germs. Wipe their hands for 20-30 seconds until dry to ensure no alcohol is left for them to ingest.  The friction of mechanical cleaning actually wipes the dirt and germs off the skin, plus the chemical ingredients in the wipes reduce the germ count.

 

Bathing Your Baby: Lightly Cleanse

Young babies have thin, delicate skin that deserves to be cleansed, not belt-sanded. To avoid germs, babies need only to be bathed every two or three days to prevent stripping them of their natural lubricants and oils. To protect natural oils, use a gentle cleanser on Baby's soft skin instead of harsh soap. As babies get older and find ways to get dirtier, though, more frequent bathing is necessary to avoid rashes and germs.

Cleaning Your House: Build Tolerance

For a child to successfully fight off germs and develop fewer allergies, she needs to build her immune system's tolerance. Letting germs colonize your baby's nose and throat. Let her sit on the ground and get her body used to fighting off germs.

Keep your house clean, but you don't need to sterilize it. Babies' bodies need to get used to being around everyday germs. If you sterilize, they won't be able to deal with germs as well. Germs can make you sick, but some actually help you. It's important to find a balance between being paranoid and being smart.

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