Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ten Simple Tips to Maintain a Healthy and Germ-Free Nursery

baby in crib

*photo by Jean Scheijen

 

Ten Simple Tips to Maintain a Healthy and Germ-Free Nursery
By Dr. Benjamin Tanner

1. Identify the germ “hot spots” within your nursery and clean them often
Germ hot spots within the nursery are the areas that come in contact with waste in
diapers and other body fluids, either directly or indirectly. Diaper waste--and the
millions and millions of germs in it--can be spread by hands and objects that come in
contact with it. Since germs are microscopic and invisible to the naked eye, it’s easy to spread many of them to clean surfaces without knowing it. Areas where most bacteria typically gather include:

Changing Table – This is the place where diaper messes and germs are
transferred from the diaper to baby’s skin – and possibly mom’s hands. And a
dirty diaper likely has more germs inside it than anything else in the nursery.
Laundry Hamper – 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.
Floor – Germs on the floor are not a concern for adults, but the floor is where
babies lay, crawl, and play. Most floor germs aren’t of the harmful type, but it’s
still a hot spot to keep an eye on.
Toys/Toy chest – The average toy isn’t loaded with germs, but toys will transmit
them easily if they become contaminated, since toys come in contact with
playmates’ hands, skin, and mouths.

2. Learn the difference between cleaners and disinfectants, and which is appropriate for your nursery.  Cleaners remove most soils, but may spread germs around. Disinfectants actually 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 contact time
elapses, wipe off the surface with a wet cloth or paper towel to get rid of any
irritating residual chemicals so your baby’s delicate skin does not touch these
chemicals.
• It’s also wise to disinfect hard floors and vacuum carpets routinely to keep germ
levels low
• Tip: Disinfectants say “disinfects,” “antibacterial” or “sanitizes” on the label.

3. Set aside a special place in the nursery for disinfectants so they’re readily available for quick cleaning but safely out of reach of children.  Even “non-toxic” cleaners can be dangerous to children, so keep cleaners on a high shelf in the closet or a child-proofed drawer of the dresser.

4. Keep messes (and germs) to a minimum when changing dirty diapers in the nursery.

• Establish a quick, mess-free diaper changing routine, and keep supplies handy
and close by.
o Create a dedicated changing area that can be easily cleaned and
disinfected.
o Take extra care to handle diapers from the outside surfaces and avoid
touching waste.

• Get rid of diapers in a hygienic fashion that keeps germs sealed away. I
recommend the Diaper Genie II Elite™ Disposal System. It seals odor into the
pail and out of your nursery unlike an ordinary trash can and plastic bag. Diapers
only touch the disposable film, not the pail, so there is one less thing to clean.
The Diaper Genie II Elite™ Disposal System also has Antimicrobial Protection
built into the plastic to inhibit odor-causing bacteria.

5. Keep soap and warm water, or where soap and water are not available, antibacterial
hand wipes, nearby to use after changing your baby in the nursery
This will help stop the spread of germs within the nursery.

• Tip: When soap and water are not available, consider using an antibacterial
hand wipe, such as Wet Ones® Antibacterial Hands and Face Wipes. Wet Ones
Antibacterial Hands and Face Wipes are clinically proven to be just as effective
as gel hand sanitizers in killing 99.99% of germs, and also clean away dirt and
messes.

6. Keep baby bottles away from germ hot spots, such as the changing table, and only
handle them when your hands are clean.  Harmful germs can grow very quickly in formula and breast milk – be sure to keep bottles clean and dry when not in use.

7. Keep a special hamper inside the nursery to use specifically for heavily soiled baby
laundry.  This special, separate hamper will help prevent bacteria on heavily soiled laundry from spreading throughout the rest of the nursery. Also, take special care when laundering heavily soiled baby clothing and bedding to prevent the spread of germs through the laundry.

• Use Hot water and/or chlorine bleach
• Dry laundry in a hot dryer cycle

8. Take special precautions within the nursery when baby is sick to prevent spread of
illness to other children and throughout the rest of the nursery.

• Disinfect nursery “hot spots” more frequently
• Reduce time other children spend in the nursery and with baby

9. Take special precautions in the nursery when you or other family members are sick, to keep from giving your infection to baby and spreading throughout the nursery.

• Cover all coughs and sneezes
• Wash hands before contact with baby and when entering the nursery

10. Reduce pet access to the nursery

• Reptiles and birds frequently harbor dangerous germs, like Salmonella. Make
sure that children wash hands well with soap and warm water after handling
reptiles and before coming into the nursery, and keep bird bedding/litter out of
the nursery altogether.
• Dogs and cats are less risky but still may carry certain kinds of harmful bacteria.
Cats may harbor a parasite that is of particular concern to pregnant women – if
you are pregnant or think you may be pregnant, avoid changing cat litter to
reduce exposure to the parasite Toxoplasma.
• If a pet makes a mess on the carpet, make sure to spray it with a non-bleach
disinfectant after cleanup to prevent those germs from spreading to baby during
playtime.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Win an iPhone!

iPhone-app-hm

 

There is a great (and easy!) giveaway going on over at Garage Sales Tracker to promote their new iphone app.  Check out the details at Garage Sales Tracker and check out their new app that lets you post and find garage sales just in time for summer.  :)  (By the way, you actually win credit to the Apple Store, so if you don’t have an iphone you’re still in luck!)

You have until June 4th!.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Win LYSOL Products (and help those allergies!)

New Lysol Wipes Image New Lysol Spray Image

When Lysol asked me to test out their product to help with allergies, I told them I was the person to try it.  I’ve had allergies since I was a teenager and I’m allergic to things inside and out of the home.  I’ve used Lysol products for cleaning and disinfecting, but took a new look at them for helping my allergies.  Lysol wipes are great for picking up things like cat hair, dust, and the pollen you inevitably bring into the house- some of my major triggers.  It’s recommended that you “wet dust” to really get things clean, so these are great.  Here are some more tips from Lysol.  See below for your chance to win LYSOL Disinfecting Wipes and can of LYSOL Disinfectant Spray!

 

Allergy flare-ups are often attributed to the allergens outside your front door. However, did you know that the same allergens are found on surfaces inside 75 million homes across America? According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), some of the most common indoor allergens, include dust mites, mold and household pets.

Some easy ways to reduce allergy suffering in the home include:

· Reduce Pet Dander - Decrease your exposure to pet dander by keeping your pet out of your bedroom, since this is typically the room in which people spend a majority of their time.

· Wrap Things Up - Put fabric covers over common dust mite hideouts such as pillows, mattresses and sofa cushions and wash bedding often.

· Clear the Air - Prevent pollen from entering your home by keeping windows and doors closed during peak allergy

· season. Air filters are also considered useful for helping clear the air of lingering allergens triggers.

· Wipe Down Surfaces - Be sure to frequently clean hard surfaces to get rid of allergens in your home. Use LYSOL Disinfecting Wipes to remove 90% of pollen particles and dust mite debris, in addition to killing 99.9% of illness-causing bacteria. Also use LYSOL Disinfectant Spray to kill the source of mold allergens on hard, non-porous surfaces.

· Avoid Mold Spores - To help reduce mold: use an air conditioner in humid climates and avoid the use of humidifiers in dry climates. Also, run the bathroom fan or open the window when showering.

· Talk to Your Doctor - It is important to talk to your doctor about whether or not allergy testing, medications, and/or other measures are recommended.

For more information, visit www.lysol.com.

 

Here's how to enter . . .

1. Leave a comment telling us why you ‘d love to win this.
2. Be sure to leave your e-mail if you don't have a blogger ID.  Bloggers- you must have a public profile and listed e-mail for us to find you.

Who wants extra entries?! (Please leave a separate comment for each entry.  Current subscribers, you can use these extra entries too, since we’re so happy to have you here!)

-Sign up for our Mommy's Idea feed or e-mail feed. (Over to the right.)
-Become a follower of Mommy's Idea.
-Blog about and link to this giveaway. Please leave your blog url in your comment.
-Stumble this post or http://www.mommysidea.com/.
-Add our Mommy’s Idea button and/or Ellie Bags button to your site.
-Tweet about this giveaway. (You can add an extra entry every day that you tweet it!)

Open to residents of the US.
Contest ends at 11:59 PM EST on Tuesday, June 8, 2010.

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*I have received a sample product to review.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Win a KidsCraft Playhouse!

shuttle Creation_Cottage

IMG_3098

I get some really fun things to try out here at Mommy’s idea and this was no exception.  This sturdy playhouse is made of 100% recycled material and made in the USA.  To make it even better, for every one sold, KidsCraft will plant one tree! 

Assembling the Shuttle Imagination was fairly simple, although you’ll probably need to assemble it wherever you decide to keep it.  We started in the house and then figured we should keep it in the garage (It’s cardboard, so it’s not meant to be kept outside).  It wouldn’t fit through the door, so we just took it apart and put it back together again.  My son was very excited and put on a special “astronaut” suit for the shuttle.    We haven’t decorated it yet, but I’m sure that will be a lot of fun too.  Maybe a neighborhood project!  It was certainly a conversation piece when people wondered why we had a space shuttle in our garage.  :)

Here’s how to win one of your own . . .

1. Visit http://www.kidscraftusa.com/.
2. Come back here and leave a comment telling us one interesting fact about the company.
3. Be sure to leave your e-mail if you don't have a blogger ID.  Bloggers- you must have a public profile and listed e-mail for us to find you.

Who wants extra entries?! (Please leave a separate comment for each entry.  Current subscribers, you can use these extra entries too, since we’re so happy to have you here!)


-Become a fan of KidsCraft on Facebook
-Follow KidsCraft on Twitter


-Sign up for our Mommy's Idea feed or e-mail feed. (Over to the right.)
-Become a follower of Mommy's Idea.
-Blog about and link to this giveaway. Please leave your blog url in your comment.
-Share this post via Stumble, Digg, etc.
-Add our Mommy’s Idea button and/or Ellie Bags button to your site.
-Become a fan on Facebook
-Tweet about this giveaway. (You can add an extra entry every day that you tweet it!)

Open to US residents.

Contest ends at 11:59 PM EST on Monday, June 7, 2010. 

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*I have received a sample product to review.