Following the pandemic of 2020, there has been more emphasis than ever before on general hygiene, especially when it comes to children and keeping them safe. But with these new safety measures in place, it can be tough to identify exactly what needs to be done to maintain hygiene, especially if you are a parent who is looking after several children at home. It can be even tougher to navigate if the children in your care are very young.
Luckily, there is nothing extensive, and it is more of a checkbox exercise than having to train as a nurse or doctor. But it is in the best interests of yourself, the children that you care for, and the surrounding community to take care of. So how do you maintain hygiene when providing your children with first aid?
Wash Your Hands
The importance of washing your hands cannot be overstated.
When your child comes home and they are not feeling well, you should aim to wash your hands before examining them as well as afterward. If they attend public schools, it is worth being up to speed with the protocols relating to first aid in schools, so you can determine what has already been looked at by the school’s nurse.
If you are cleaning surfaces that a child has vomited on or has had another accident on, you should be wearing gloves. But when the gloves are off, it is an ideal time to watch your hands, provided the cleaning has been completed.
You should always aim to keep the surfaces in your home sterile, so you should always clean the surfaces used after preparing food or tending to a scraped knee. This will maintain hygiene and will kill germs and bacteria that breed on these surfaces and can cause illnesses. Once again, you should be wearing gloves while doing this and using an appropriate cleaner.
Discard Disposable Items
It’s easy when you are dealing with multiple children at one time who are sick to leave disposable items on the side or countertop, especially when moving on to the next stage of the treatment, such as the dressing of a cut. But you should discard these items as soon as possible into appropriate bins. This is the case with tongue depressors, ear thermometer covers, and gloves. If you have multiple children, you should change your gloves between examining each of them, as this will prevent the spread of bacteria and germs.
Foot Pedal Bins
It can be worth investing in a foot pedal bin, and each bin should have an appropriate waste disposal bag. These can be placed in your bathroom or in a safe area in your kitchen. This will prevent the spread of bacteria onto the bin and will also help to keep other people who may use the bin safe. Incidentally, you should also be cleaning the bin around the top and the inside every single day to kill germs.
Handkerchiefs When Coughing
If you have a child and they are coughing excessively, provide them with a disposable handkerchief or a tissue. This will help prevent the spread of airborne diseases and can also be used as a diagnostic tool. If they are coughing up blood or their mucus is an unusual color, you may need to seek help. Just make sure you throw the disposable handkerchief or tissue away after you have assessed, and report any issues to a doctor or a nurse.