Most illnesses are transmitted to infants by the hands; therefore regular hand washing is essential and is the single best way to avoid the spread of disease. What could be a mild illness in adults can be life threatening in babies.
Once at home, it is important to keep up with the regular hand washing routine to keep your baby safe. You should wash your hands:
- Before and after nappy changes.
- Before and after preparing food.
- Before you pick up your child.
- Before you feed your child.
- After you use the bathroom.
- After touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Tips to encourage hand washing:
It can be tricky encouraging people to wash their hands regularly, especially if they do not understand its importance to the health of your baby. Remember, you are not an overprotective mother, you are simply concerned with the health of your child.
- Be upfront and ask people to wash their hands; there is no need to apologise for trying to keep your baby safe from infection.
- Hand sanitiser can come in very handy, especially when hand washing is not possible. Keep a small squeeze bottle of sanitiser in your nappy bag or handbag and a couple of large hand sanitiser bottles around the house.
- If people are reluctant to wash their hands, tell them your baby’s doctor has requested that everyone who comes in contact with the baby needs to wash their hands.
- When out and about, place a blanket over the stroller to stop people reaching in to touch the baby.
- If someone touches your baby’s hands without washing, you can wash your baby’s hands afterwards to help stop the spread of disease.
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