December 21, 1999
F. Flynn, (703) 741-5827
Ralph Posner, (202) 452-9425
Health and Hygiene:
Tips for New Parents
VA - For new parents, bringing home a
baby is an exciting experience. But parents also may feel overwhelmed
from the responsibilities and challenges associated with childcare. Regular
visits to a pediatrician, who will monitor your child's development and
give a series of immunizations, are essential. At home, it also is important
to protect against infections by fighting the germs that spread diseases.
Keeping your child's surroundings clean will keep the entire family healthy.
viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungi are everywhere around the house.
They are on your hands, in the air, in food and, especially, in bathrooms
and kitchens. Children's furniture and equipment are not immune either.
Some of the more common germs that often affect children's health include
rotavirus and rhinovirus (common cold), and several bacteria: E. coli,
Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureas and Campylobacter. Most cause symptoms
of fever, vomiting and diarrhea. They are usually and easily spread through
hand-to-face (mouth, nose, eyes) contact as a result of contaminated food,
poor hygiene or improper hand washing. A few simple clean-up steps can
eliminate many of these problems.
an effort to promote proper hygiene, the Public Health Advisory Board
would like to offer your readers important tips to assist parents in providing
their babies with a clean, healthy home environment. For more information
or to arrange an interview with the Public Health Advisory Board, please
contact Ralph Posner at (202) 452-9425.
SAFETY TIPS FOR NEW PARENTS
1. Wash hands thoroughly and often with hot water and soap for 15 seconds;
rinse and dry with a clean towel.
particular, be sure to wash hands before and after preparing food or
baby bottles, and after handling diapers, using the bathroom, touching
pets, sneezing or coughing.
Clean and sanitize surfaces with a homemade cleaning solution (mix one
teaspoon of chlorine bleach with one quart of water in a spray bottle.
For larger jobs, mix ¾-cup chlorine bleach with one gallon of water;
spray or wipe on).
wipe, rinse and dry telephones, light switches, faucet handles, countertops
and doorknobs. Frequently sanitize baby furniture, equipment and toys
- diaper-changing table, crib mattress and rails, highchairs, strollers,
pacifiers and teething rings.
Soak and then wash cloth diapers with detergent and bleach (follow manufacturers'
Take care with food preparation and storage
not serve unpasteurized milk, cheese, juice or raw eggs.
fresh fruits and vegetables with cold water.
Cook foods thoroughly to recommended temperatures and promptly store
in refrigerator or freezer.
American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics,
National Consumers League, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, The Nemours Foundation,
Public Health Advisory Board was established in 1992 to advise the Chlorine
Chemistry Division of the American Chemistry Council. The eight members
of the Board are experts in the fields of public health, toxicology, treatment,
microbiology and other scientific disciplines, and consumer affairs.
Chlorine Chemistry Division of the American Chemistry Council is comprised
of manufacturers and users of chlorine and chlorine-based products.