Safe Kids – Germ Safe

Safe Kids – Preventing Colds, Flu and Other Diseases

preventing colds
Germs

Germs are microscopic in size and come in many forms including Bacteria, Viruses, Fungi and Protozoa.

 

Bacteria

Single celled organisms that live off their environment – The problem is the environment may be your child or anyone else.

 

Bacteria – Good

Some bacteria are used to create different medications and vaccines. Bacteria are also important to keep our digestive tract running smoothly and stop other “bad” bacteria from entering our system.

 

Bacteria – Bad

Bacteria are also responsible for some of the most common illnesses in humans such as cavities, ear infections, urinary tract infections and sore throats.

  • Bacteria are treated with antibiotics

 

Viruses

Viruses cannot survive unless they attach themselves to a person or an animal; they can only live for a short time without other living cells and will die quickly on surfaces such as bench tops or toilet seats. Once inside the body they spread quickly and can cause many illnesses, from colds and flu, to very serious diseases like smallpox and HIV/Aids

  • Antibiotics do not work against viruses – There have been some anti-viral agents developed to counteract a small number of select viruses 

 

Fungi

Multi-celled plant-like organisms that like warm moist environments, they get nutrition from food, plants and animals.

A couple of well known fungal infections are athlete’s foot and yeast infections.

 

Protozoa

Protozoa are single celled organisms that love moist environments commonly spreading disease through contaminated water. They may also be encapsulated in cysts allowing them to live in harsh environments outside of the body for long periods of time

 

How Do Germs Spread

  • Via touching dirty hands
  • Things like changing dirty diapers
  • Through contaminated food and water
  • Through coughing or sneezing releasing droplets in the air
  • Touching contaminated surfaces
  • Having contact with a sick person’s body fluids

After initial contact with the germ you can become infected by touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Once infected you may infect others, sometimes your whole family.

 

How To Prevent The Spread Of Germs

Thorough hand washing is the first and best defense against the spread of illness. It is by far the most efficient method to stop the spread of germs and prevent the kids getting sick.

Hand washing will prevent illnesses from the common cold to more serious ailments, such as the flu, bronchiolitis, meningitis, hepatitis A and many different types of diarrhea.

Regular hand washing should be compulsory for the whole family, especially:

  • Before cooking
  • Before meals
  • After using the bathroom
  • After cleaning the house
  • After touching any animals – including pets
  • Before and after visiting, or caring for sick people
  • After blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing
  • After coming indoors from outside

 

How To Wash Your Hands Properly

  • Use warm water
  • Use soap – any soap is fine, it doesn’t have to be anti-bacterial or anything fancy
  • Lather for about 20 seconds making sure to get between the fingers, under the finger nails and thoroughly lather the wrists
  • Rinse and dry with a clean towel

 

Remember:

30 seconds washing your hands can save countless dollars and trips to the doctors office


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