By Germ Expert Dr. Benjamin Tanner
Maintaining a clean and healthy nursery for your little one can seem like a never ending task. A recent Playtex survey revealed that having a clean and healthy nursery environment is a key priority for 65% of moms, underscoring the importance of keeping this special room as sanitary as possible. Germ expert Dr. Benjamin Tanner offers five simple and easy tips to help parents do just that.
Learn the ABCs of disinfectants vs. cleaners: Cleaners remove soils, but may still spread germs around, while disinfectants kill germs when used correctly. To use a disinfectant correctly in a nursery, remove your baby from the spray or wipe zone and apply the product liberally. After the label-specified time elapses, wipe off the surface with a wet cloth to get rid of any residual chemicals so your baby’s delicate skin doesn’t touch these chemicals. It’s also wise to disinfect hard floors and vacuum carpets routinely to keep germ levels low.
Know the nursery hot spots: Germ “hot spots” in the nursery are the areas that come in contact with waste in diapers and other body fluids, directly or indirectly. Areas where most bacteria typically gather include the floor, changing table, toys and toy chest, and laundry hamper – these spots should be disinfected at least once a day to kill these bacteria. Make sure to focus on these key areas more than others when disinfecting in the nursery, and use a proper disinfectant, not just a cleaner.
Eliminate germs and messes during change time: The changing table is one of the key hot spots, and the place where diaper messes and germs are transferred from the diaper to baby’s skin. Establish a quick, mess-free diaper changing routine to help keep these germs at bay, keeping supplies handy and close by in a dedicated changing area. Get rid of diapers in a hygienic fashion that keeps germs sealed away – the Diaper Genie II Elite® Pail seals odor into the pail and out of your nursery unlike an ordinary trash can. Diapers only touch the disposable film, not the pail, so there is one less thing to clean. It also offers a convenient foot pedal, allowing you to hold your child and dispose of a diaper at the same time, and has Antimicrobial Protection built into the plastic to inhibit odor-causing bacteria.
Keep it clean after a change: Keep soap and warm water, or where not available, antibacterial hand wipes nearby to use after changing your baby. This will help stop the spread of germs within the nursery. And place a special, separate hamper inside the nursery to use specifically for heavily soiled baby laundry, which will help prevent bacteria on this laundry from spreading. Studies have shown that laundry, especially if it has come in contact with bodily fluids, can harbor great quantities of bacteria and even spread them to clean clothes through normal washing cycles.
Be mindful of germs when sickness creeps in: Take special precautions within the nursery when you or the baby is sick to prevent spread of illness to other children and throughout the rest of the nursery. Disinfect nursery hot spots even more frequently than normal, including the floor, changing table and laundry hamper, and cover all coughs and sneezes and wash hands before contact with baby and when entering the nursery.