School days are here and that means it’s that time again, cold and flu season is back. We already know how to care for our school-aged children with oscillococcinum, the natural treatment against the flu as well as precautions against the H1N1 virus, but as prevention tactics maybe we should be looking in the local patent office.
Even though not all of them actually get made or never make it out of our heads, many people all across the country have been inventing products to make lives easier. There are a lot of inventions that serve to help the community. A few of these have shown up in the childhood flu arena and could be just the thing to keep your child protected from the invisible monsters that lurk everywhere—germs.
With hand-washing being the number one rule in keeping germs from bombarding your immune system, you may notice that more and more grocery stores, hospitals, and schools have included anti-bacterial wipes and/or hand sanitizer dispensers around for patients, customers, and visitors to use for their protection and the protection of the workers in each environment. A lot of people do not understand that other people’s hands are carriers and can be very detrimental to a baby’s health, especially new borns.
As it may not be customary to ask friends, relatives, or friends to wash their hands prior to holding your newborn, maybe it should be. The minds behind My Tiny Hands came up with a sign, asking people to wash their hands, to attach to your stroller, car seat, high chair, crib, or baby carrier. On their website is an adorable little baby sitting in a stroller with a neon pink stop-sign-esque laminate hanging from the top that says, “Please wash your hands before touching mine.” The signs are a great way to ask without having the awkwardness of confronting a coughing co-worker or sniffling neighbor during a visit and are also available in Spanish language.
My Tiny Hands offers testimonials on their website from professionals like Dr. David Geller at Children’s Hospital of Boston, who says that this petition should be necessary instead of being viewed as offensive, “Since people who don’t know they’re sick can also spread germs, it’s completely appropriate, and not rude, to make everyone wash their hands before touching [your] baby.”
Sniffle Buddy, another new product cropping up for children. I often remember wiping my nose down my sleeve or on the inside of my jacket or sweatshirt because I can never remember ever having tissues handy. The purpose is to keep little noses soft and sleeves free of gunk, as well as germs so it is an elasticized band that goes around a child’s wrist made of washable organic cotton and recycled materials. Parents can easily slip on and off and throw right into the washing machine since each band wraps comfortably around the wrist with Velcro.
If you are an active parent always on the go, work outside without a pocketful of tissues be happy to know they are for adults also. With the spread of germs through fabrics and airplane travel being a haven for airborne illness, if you happen to be traveling (with or without kids) over the flu/holiday season you may also want to consider purchasing an anti-bacterial cover for your airplane seat. Called a “Sure Fit Transit Cover,” this soft stretchy suede fabric slips quickly over your seat making it a healthier way to fly. Next time your family develops a case of the sniffles think about how you can prevent those nasty viruses by stocking up on anti-bacterial items.