Trying to keep infants away from germ hazards can turn out to be quite a burden, especially when their only purpose seems to be to crawl around the house and try to bite into every dirty object they can find. Apart from dirty items, there is another potential source of germs, which seems to be much harder to control: all those friends and relatives who want to be around the baby at all times. Grandparents, siblings, friends, distant relatives, everyone suddenly wants to touch, hold and kiss the newborn every five minutes. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do, in order to help keep infections and disease away from your little bundle of joy.
Stay on Schedule with Vaccines
Perhaps the most important way to prevent your baby from getting sick is to make sure they get all their vaccines on time. Since doctors started educating people towards following a vaccine schedule thoroughly, a lot of diseases, dangerous for both adults and children, have become nearly eradicated. This includes chickenpox, meningitis and, recently, infections caused by rotavirus. If you have any concerns about vaccines, discuss with the pediatrician before making any rushed decision and do not interrupt the vaccine scheme unless extremely necessary.
Keep a Clean Environment
In order to protect your infant, both you and your family will need to work together. The most common way of spreading infections is by touch. Make sure everybody washes their hands before holding the baby or preparing food for the infant. It is recommended to carry hand sanitizer with you all the times, in case you find yourself in a place where water and soap are not available. Baby items, such as bottles, pacifiers, bedding for the crib and even infant car seats need to be cleaned and sterilized regularly, in order to keep bacteria away.
Keep Ill People at Distance
In the first few months of their life, babies are extremely prone to catching any illness that may appear harmless to adults. If any family member wants to visit, make sure they are not ill and explain to them why it is so important they keep their distance until they are no longer contagious. Even the common cold can be dangerous to infants. Some people may not manifest symptoms but they can be carriers, so make sure they did not get in contact with anyone carrying an infectious disease, such as chickenpox, in the last few days. This rule should apply to the parents as well. If one of the parents gets sick, it may be better to not be near the baby, until they get better.
Discuss with the Pediatrician
If your baby gets sick, do not wait to see if the symptoms magically pass. Oftentimes, they don’t, and time can make a big difference. Call the pediatrician and let them know if you suspect anything strange in the baby’s behavior. Fever, endless crying, low appetite, troubled breathing, vomiting, they can all be signs of an infectious disease. Make an appointment as soon as possible and keep other members of the family away from the infant until you see the doctor. Just like you don’t want your newborn to get sick because of others, you shouldn’t want other people to get sick because of your child either.