Guess what! Germs can be GOOD for kids!
Germs sometimes get a bad rep when it comes to the effects they have on children and while bacteria and some germs can cause illnesses in most cases a few germs won’t do your kiddie any harm. There are some things you can do to let your child build up some resilience against the germs:
Tell your kids about germs and handwashing
Kids should know about the handwashing and the importance of being clean, however, there is no need to be overly clinical. Letting kids play in the mud is perfectly ok and it isn’t right to ban your nippers from kicking leaves or stopping them playing
for fear of the dirt. The truth is kids will be fine if they wash their hands afterwards.
Let them be kids
Following on from the previous advice kids need to be kiddies and while you should exercise caution there is no need to boil everything and clean everything your child touches. Don’t be the type of parent who stops their nipper playing with a dog or allowing them to pet a cat for fear of bugs as this builds up their resistance to bugs.
Don’t go mad on the soaps
Constantly using antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizer is not advised and by over soaping everything and everyone you are inadvertently stunting their immune defences. Don’t go for the posh or fancy soaps and stick to the basics of soap and water. It worked for us years ago; didn’t it?
Don’t go for antibiotics unless needed
Pumping children full of medicine when they are ill may seem like the best option, but it isn’t always the best course of action. A cold or flu will usually run its course on your child and go away in time. Of course, this isn’t always possible, and some kids will need an antibiotic but avoid letting them rely upon them to fight illness.
Get a dog or some sort of pet
A dog is a good way for your child to build up an immune system. Animals are not always dirty, and they enhance your child’s mental health too. Have your rules about washing afterwards and keeping the pets clean but otherwise let them play and have fun with their pet. Cats, dogs or gerbils can expose children to an assortment of germs, bacteria and other living organisms they might not be accustomed to otherwise.
Let them play
Banning your kids from playing with others in case they get sick is silly. You may have a child who loves football, but you refuse to let them play in case they fall and get dirty. Exposing your kid to lots of germs is the best way forward, so let them play and be kids. Furthermore, let them play outside and while you may consider them safer sitting on a computer rather than mixing with snotty nosed kids you should let them out.
Don’t over wash the kids
The kids don’t need to be washed every single day and you should let them give themselves a little wipe after cleaning and leave them to it. Don’t throw them in the bath every day unless they really need it.
Don’t wash clothes after one wear
If you need to - fair enough but don’t wash your kiddie’s clothes every single day for fear of specks of dirt being on them or germs. They will be fine. Clothes don’t need to be washed after one use and exercise a bit of sense and let them wear jeans or shorts for two days running.
Remember germs aren’t an enemy unless you treat them like one!