Naturally kill germs on baby hands? - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-15-2011, 09:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi girls.

We have joined a baby class where our babe will be in tons of contact with other babes and people.  I am not usually a germaphobe but the cold/flu are going around like crazy in our area.  Just recently my friends babe went to our church nursery for the first time and came home sick (coincidence maybe) but he was hospitalized for 4 days with pneumonia. It freaked me out!!

 

So, my question is:

Is there a natural safe way to kill the germs on my babes hands? I know she will be crawling around and touching all the toys/equipment, which is fine, but I would like to clean her hands immediately after the "fun time" is up...before she has a chance to put them in her mouth!!

 

I don't think a baby wipe will get the job done, right (seventh generation wipes)?

And I know I can't use hand sanitizer on her hands.

 

Any ideas would be appreciated.


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Old 02-15-2011, 09:08 PM
 
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I don't know of any, I am sorry. However, if this is a "professional" class (e.g. offered by a parks and rec department or a children's gym place, etc), it's almost a guarantee that they will keep the toys and surfaces sanitized, most likely with a 1 capful of bleach:1 gallon of water ratio spray. If I were in your shoes, I would just ask what they do to sanitize surfaces and toys.


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Old 02-16-2011, 02:53 AM
 
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Soap, a good amount of running water and vigorous mechanical rubbing for 15 seconds followed by thorough drying is the best way to remove germs from hands. 

 

Of course that is tricky with a toddler or small baby. But maybe you could make a game of it? Stool to stand on at the sink, bit of liquid soap and rub their hands with yours while you sing "This is the way we wash our hands..."?

 

BTW around the fingernails, the webbing between the fingers and on the wrists are the most commonly missed areas.


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Old 02-16-2011, 03:18 AM
 
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I was thinking of this recently too as we just started a baby group, and right now DS has a bug, which I have to wonder if he got there.
I was thinking about making my own wipes and using a very dilute tea tree oil water on them....like maybe one or two drops per cup of water. I was also wondering if this would be safe to wipe his dropped toys with when he drops them out in public places.

Does anyone know if that would be safe and/or effective?

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Old 02-16-2011, 04:18 AM
 
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I use my own baby washcloths in a ziploc, which I put some Dr. Bronner's on (plus water) before we leave the house.  I also will use regular baby wipes in a pinch.  I went to a play area at the Y a couple times where I was "required" to use sanitizer from a pump on his hands...so I just pretended I did.  That stuff is nasty.  I know germs are, too, but I just couldn't put that stuff on him.  Hope this helps!


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Old 02-16-2011, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecilia's Mama View Post

I don't know of any, I am sorry. However, if this is a "professional" class (e.g. offered by a parks and rec department or a children's gym place, etc), it's almost a guarantee that they will keep the toys and surfaces sanitized, most likely with a 1 capful of bleach:1 gallon of water ratio spray. If I were in your shoes, I would just ask what they do to sanitize surfaces and toys.


Thanks.  I know that they do sanitize the surfaces..thank goodness.  I was just worried about during the playtime.

 

 

Quote:

Soap, a good amount of running water and vigorous mechanical rubbing for 15 seconds followed by thorough drying is the best way to remove germs from hands. 

 

Of course that is tricky with a toddler or small baby. But maybe you could make a game of it? Stool to stand on at the sink, bit of liquid soap and rub their hands with yours while you sing "This is the way we wash our hands..."?

 

BTW around the fingernails, the webbing between the fingers and on the wrists are the most commonly missed areas.

 

Yes, I already wash her hands regulary when we are out and about.  I was hoping to find a quick way to "clean" her hands until we made it to the restroom when the class was over.

And thanks for the tips about the commonly missed areas!! :)

 

 

Quote:
I was thinking of this recently too as we just started a baby group, and right now DS has a bug, which I have to wonder if he got there.
I was thinking about making my own wipes and using a very dilute tea tree oil water on them....like maybe one or two drops per cup of water. I was also wondering if this would be safe to wipe his dropped toys with when he drops them out in public places.

Does anyone know if that would be safe and/or effective?

 

This is what I was hoping to find! Thanks! I also would like to make a quick wipe system where I could wipe her hands really quick and be done with it, until a good handwashing later on.

 

 

Quote:
I use my own baby washcloths in a ziploc, which I put some Dr. Bronner's on (plus water) before we leave the house.  I also will use regular baby wipes in a pinch.  I went to a play area at the Y a couple times where I was "required" to use sanitizer from a pump on his hands...so I just pretended I did.  That stuff is nasty.  I know germs are, too, but I just couldn't put that stuff on him.  Hope this helps!

Thanks for the help!!!! I am going to give this a try!!
I am going to make it tonight! :)


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Old 02-16-2011, 03:56 PM
 
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We, too, participate in a playgroup. DD has gotten two stomach viruses since we started attending and it has made DH very unhappy. He thinks we should stay home but I wonder if it isn't a good thing to expose her to some of these bugs now? Will it help build a strong immune system? I'm not talking about deliberately exposing her to the flu, but not being super paranoid about other, milder colds and viruses. Can someone educate me on my thinking? I mean, DD is 9 months old and normally healthy as a horse so I know she can fight those milder illnesses. Will this help her in the long run? 


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Old 02-16-2011, 04:54 PM
 
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Breastmilk!  It is great from washing face and hands, it naturally fights off germs.

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Old 02-16-2011, 04:59 PM
 
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I personally avoided group settings for this reason while DD was really small.  I just got a strong sense that little babies should have limited exposure to random strangers and large public places.

 

I don't buy the "exposure makes you stronger" thinking for the most part.... the children I know who are in group care or big playgroups are always sick.... and I don't see how that can be a good thing, while these little bodies are growing and young brains are developing. Also: since the cold and flu viruses are always changing, "building immunity" is not an issue, otherwise, we would stop getting sick after a few years, right?

 

For the in-between time, before one can get to a sink, I always bring two ziplock bags: one with wet papertowels infused with soap from home, another with just really wet paper towels for "rinsing"

This has worked for us for years, knock wood.

 

*I would not use Tea Tree oil for anything taken internally, as it is not edible, and can actually be toxic.  Externally, I use in very diluted forms.

 

Trin.

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Old 02-16-2011, 05:08 PM
 
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I think there is some long term value to the immune system in not keeping them bubble wrapped from germs but colds are one thing and nasty stomach viruses are another thing. It really depends on what bugs go around in this group. You might need to experience the play group for awhile before you decide.

 

For your hands, vigorous hand washing is the best course of action. Pretty hard to do a quality hand wash on a baby of course. Regular hand sanitiziers breed bad bugs and shouldn't be overused.

 

I keep the "Clean Well" brand of natural hand sanitizier in our car. You can buy at Whole Foods. Based on thyme oil. Works well and I am comfortable using it with the kids when we encounter the nastiness or if I have to change a poopy diaper in the car.

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Old 02-16-2011, 06:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trinitty View Post

I personally avoided group settings for this reason while DD was really small.  I just got a strong sense that little babies should have limited exposure to random strangers and large public places.

 

I don't buy the "exposure makes you stronger" thinking for the most part.... the children I know who are in group care or big playgroups are always sick.... and I don't see how that can be a good thing, while these little bodies are growing and young brains are developing. Also: since the cold and flu viruses are always changing, "building immunity" is not an issue, otherwise, we would stop getting sick after a few years, right?

 

For the in-between time, before one can get to a sink, I always bring two ziplock bags: one with wet papertowels infused with soap from home, another with just really wet paper towels for "rinsing"

This has worked for us for years, knock wood.

 

*I would not use Tea Tree oil for anything taken internally, as it is not edible, and can actually be toxic.  Externally, I use in very diluted forms.

 

Trin.



In my experience, the kids in daycares and preschools every day do indeed get sick more often. However, I find the opposite is true when it's a playgroup or a part-time preschool. I think that the home downtime between exposures to other germs really helps the immune system a lot. When I was teaching preschool, the part time kids were never sick like the full-timers were. And my own daughter is never sick and we go to 2-3 playdates a week plus a class at the local parks and rec.


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Old 02-16-2011, 10:28 PM
 
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I've heard that tea tree oil might be implicated in causing enlarged breast tissue in boys. Some kind of hormonal reaction, I guess, but I haven't researched this further. I would be careful with most essential oils with babies. They kill germs well, but may have other effects when absorbed through the skin or in their mouths.

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Old 02-17-2011, 06:37 AM
 
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I LOVE the Clean Well products. They have all natural alcohol free hand sanitizers and sprays (last longer). We use them all the time. (bought at WF, or any natural food place ans even some supermarkets)

 

For a wipe Babyganics has antibacterial all natural wipes. (bought at Babies r Us)


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Old 02-17-2011, 07:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sosurreal09 View Post

I LOVE the Clean Well products. They have all natural alcohol free hand sanitizers and sprays (last longer). We use them all the time. (bought at WF, or any natural food place ans even some supermarkets)

 

For a wipe Babyganics has antibacterial all natural wipes. (bought at Babies r Us)



Yes!  I love Clean Well.  I use the hand sanitizing spray that they make.  It smells lovely!   I buy mine at Target.  :)


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Old 02-17-2011, 07:38 AM
 
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I think kids get sick a bit as they adjust to being in a group setting regardless of when it starts, so it might happen as a baby or toddler if a child is in daycare, or if the child is not in daycare it might happen when the child starts preschool, or whenever the child starts to be in groups a lot.  You do build some immunity (to some things more than others), even though the flu and colds mutate.  And I don't personally think it matters much when that exposure happens - it doesn't appear to me to have made a difference in the overall health of kids I've seen at what age they go through that.   I think groups at this age are more about the parents than the kids though, and a mom can get a lot of mental health help from being in a supportive group of other moms.  IMO it can be totally worth it.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trinitty View Post

I personally avoided group settings for this reason while DD was really small.  I just got a strong sense that little babies should have limited exposure to random strangers and large public places.

 

I don't buy the "exposure makes you stronger" thinking for the most part.... the children I know who are in group care or big playgroups are always sick.... and I don't see how that can be a good thing, while these little bodies are growing and young brains are developing. Also: since the cold and flu viruses are always changing, "building immunity" is not an issue, otherwise, we would stop getting sick after a few years, right?

 

For the in-between time, before one can get to a sink, I always bring two ziplock bags: one with wet papertowels infused with soap from home, another with just really wet paper towels for "rinsing"

This has worked for us for years, knock wood.

 

*I would not use Tea Tree oil for anything taken internally, as it is not edible, and can actually be toxic.  Externally, I use in very diluted forms.

 

Trin.



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Old 02-17-2011, 09:09 AM
 
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I always think it's best to stay away from the hand sanitizers that have antibiotics in them, but many just have alcohol. It kills germs and does not promote super-bugs the way antibiotics do. That being said, rubbing alcohol is toxic if ingested. I don't use hand sanitizers much myself, but I think in this situation it may be worth while to use it on your babe's hands, you can wipe them off a few seconds later with wipes and then you don't have to worry about baby sucking on the stuff. The alcohol evaporates quite quickly, but there is the jelly stuff left over that probably isn't great to ingest, either, though I doubt it's actually dangerous.


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Old 02-17-2011, 01:00 PM
 
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i have noticed a decrease in the amount of sickness being passed around our playgroup. when we first started meeting regularly in the summer, our babies were mostly in arms still, no one got sick. then, in the fall, they were all starting to crawl, explore and touch each other a lot. we ALL got sick nearly constantly for about 2 months... first one baby would get it, then another and around until every had gotten it, and then we'd all move on to something new. now, no one gets sick at all! (well, that's not quite true, we've all had something or another, but it's been caught independent of play group... no one is getting the same thing or at the same time). 

 

now, this is partly because we are a small group and it's always the same babies every week. if it were a super large group with lots of rotation, i don't know that we'd have gotten to this point. also, as our babies have gotten older, we've passed the constant hands/objects-in-mouth stage. my dd was regularly licking the floor and furniture, not to mention toys and other babies! not so much any more.

 

anyway, not that you shouldn't try to minimize her exposure to germs, but even if you try, she is still going to come in contact with things, and i think eventually the bouts of the sniffles etc will decrease.

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