As a mum and editor of Mission for Health, I have a healthy (pun intended) interest in anything to do with germs. That’s why I was surprised to find out germs don’t just spread through coughs and sneezes. Some can survive a long time out in the open.
We are bombarded with germs and, generally, our body does a good job of fighting them off. And, as you know, some germs can be good for us. Strains of E.coli, for example, can help with our digestion and help create vitamin K. But there are other
strains, spread through undercooked meat, unpasteurized milk and through water , that we need to be wary of.
Whilst germs can live a long time inside the warmth of our bodies, they also survive quite a while in the wider world, too. Some can live for a couple of hours on surfaces like doorknobs, desks and tables, for example. That’s often how they are spread. Someone touches something that is contaminated with germs, then they touch their eyes, nose or mouth. I’ve been carrying wipes around for years and, curiously, I used to wipe my kids hands clean after they’d eaten. But when we’re out and about it’s more important to wipe their hands beforehand . Here are some of my other tips to help stop the spreading of germs with my kids.
1.Wash hands regularly and properly (with soap for at least 20 seconds) before and after eating and absolutely after they have been to the bathroom or have been playing with pets and dirt – or both!
2.If you need to sneeze or cough, use a tissue or if you don’t get one in time, sneeze into your upper part of your arm rather than your hand. And put the tissues straight in the bin.
3.Don’t touch your eyes or mouth if you are sick.
It’s important to remember that germs live a fruitful life out in the open. We know to be careful around people who sneeze or cough, but germs aren’t just spread through the air. They can be anywhere. It only takes a few simple steps to help stop giving that willing germ a happy home.