Hygiene plays a crucial component of a baby's overall care. Practicing a good hygiene is extremely important to keep your baby happy and healthy all the time.

Eight essential hygiene rules for your baby. Here are eight simple good hygiene practices to adopt when you have a baby.

  • Washing your hands with a good antibacterial soap is essential for removing harmful bacteria and germs that cause colds, flu, diarrhea and other infections. Be sure to dry your hands properly and wash your hand towels regularly. It's especially important to wash your hands before feeding your baby, after handling raw food, after changing a nappy or going to the toilet yourself, after touching pets, after touching anything dirty such as dirty nappies, rubbish or food waste.
  • You don't need to clean the house every day from top to bottom with disinfectant, you just need to pay particular attention to the surfaces that are most likely to harbour germs and bacteria. Focus on the areas that have a lot of contact with food, bodies and hands, such as bathrooms, kitchen benches, tables, crockery, cutlery and glassware. You need to be cleaning these properly. Use hot water with detergent for crockery, cutlery and glasses, while kitchens and bathrooms will need a thorough clean with a good disinfectant. Pay particular attention to taps, toilet seats, benches and door handles. Dry surfaces as well if they are not in a well-ventilated area with natural light.
  • Babies love to put things into their mouths, and toys are often the closest thing to hand. Be sure to regularly give your child's toys a clean with a good disinfectant. Wipe hard plastic toys down and make sure you rinse them thoroughly or put plush toys through the washing machine.
  • A good bath is essential for keeping your baby clean and tidy, but you need to make sure you are not over-washing as this is damaging to your baby's sensitive skin. In the first year of your baby's life a full bath is necessary only two or three times a week. Check out our step-by-step guide to bathing your baby.
  • These are three areas that need some special attention. Always keep your baby's nails well-trimmed so that they can't scratch themselves — the best time to trim them is when your baby is asleep. Be sure to use baby-sized nail clippers and not to cut the nails too short as these will hurt your baby.
  • Only wash the outside of your baby's ears, never the inside, and never insert cotton wool buds into your baby's ears. If your baby is unhappy and touching their ears repeatedly, this could be a sign of infection — be sure to get this looked at by a medical professional.
  • Clean any dried mucous from your baby's nose, as this can cause difficulty breathing. Use a damp wash cloth to gently remove the dried mucous. A nasal syringe may be needed to help remove excess mucous, but consult your baby's health practitioner before using one of these.
  • Be sure to keep your baby's eyes clear of any dried mucous. Use damp cotton wool to gently clean their eyes and seek medical attention if you notice your baby's eyes are irritated.

How to keep your little one comfortable when she has stomach flu

How to treat stomach flu at home

Although unpleasant, the stomach flu usually isn't serious and passes on its own within 10 days. Here's how to treat it at home.

The post How to keep your little one comfortable when she has stomach flu appeared first on Living and Loving written by Xanet Scheepers .


How to treat stomach flu at home

Although unpleasant, the stomach flu usually isn't serious and passes on its own within 10 days. Here's how to treat it at home.

The post How to keep your little one comfortable when she has stomach flu appeared first on Living and Loving written by Xanet Scheepers .

How to treat stomach flu at home

Is your little one complaining of a stomach ache accompanied by diarrhoea and vomiting? She may have stomach flu, also known as gastroenteritis. Although unpleasant, this condition usually isn’t serious and passes on its own within 10 days. “The most common causes of gastroenteritis are mainly from viruses like norovirus and rotavirus, but it can also come from bacteria like salmonella, E. coli, shigella and staphylococcus,” says general practitioner Dr Yair Edinburg from the Ubuntu Family Health Centre in Johannesburg.

Signs and symptoms of stomach flu:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Bloodied diarrhoea
  • Either increased or low or no urine output
  • Weight loss

“Children may refuse to eat and drink, and become very thirsty and lethargic,” says Dr Edinburg.

Is it stomach flu or food poisoning?

Dr Edinburg explains the main difference between stomach flu and food poisoning is that food poisoning is usually dramatic. “It often affects a group of people who may have eaten the same foods, there is a rapid onset of symptoms and the cause is usually bacterial. With stomach flu, there will be reports of the condition in the community.”

Treating your child’s stomach flu at home

Ensure your little one takes in enough fluids so she doesn’t become dehydrated. Dr Edinburg recommends only giving your little one clear fluids as fruit juices and milk can worsenher symptoms. “You can also make your own home-made oral rehydration solution. Mix six level teaspoons of sugar and half a teaspoon of salt with one litre of clean drinking or boiled water. Let the solution cool down before giving it to your child.”

ALSO SEE: 4 common mistakes parents make when treating their child’s stomach flu

If your child is unable to keep any fluids in, try syringing 2 to 5ml of the fluid in until larger volumes can be tolerated, Dr Edinburg advises. “If your child continues to refuse fluids or vomits, call your doctor immediately.”

While you can offer your little one plain foods like bananas, rice, apple sauce and toast to keep up her strength, oral rehydration should always be the priority when a child has stomach flu. It’s vital to replace the important electrolytes (salts, sugars and minerals) your child’s body loses when she is dehydrated. Avoid foods that are spicy, fried and fatty, or have a lot of acid as they can make your little one’s stomach problems worse.
It’s best to wait until your child can tolerate fluids before introducing food.

Preventing stomach flu

“Following good general hygiene may help prevent your exposure to the causes of a stomach bug. However, as stomach flu is extremely contagious and spread through personal contact, it can prove difficult to avoid being exposed to a stomach bug,” says Dr Edinburg.
He adds that as stomach flu is generally spread by faeco-oral route, parents should take great care when changing nappies. “Hand-washing for the entire family should be a priority after using the toilet, changing nappies and cleaning up diarrhoea or vomit.”

ALSO SEE: Boost your child’s immunity

When to be concerned

“If gastroenteritis symptoms last more than about five days, your child has a high fever above 38.5°C, has bloody diarrhoea, is dehydrated and complaining of constant abdominal pain, make an appointment with your doctor as these symptoms may indicate a more severe underlying disease,” says Dr Edinburg.

He adds that symptoms of dehydration should be monitored closely and treated as soon as possible should they develop.

Signs your child may be dehydrated:

  • Decreased or no urine input
  • Dry mucous membranes
  • Dry mouth or skin
  • No tears
  • Weakness
  • Light-headedness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Pinched skin that doesn’t rapidly go back to normal.

The post How to keep your little one comfortable when she has stomach flu appeared first on Living and Loving written by Xanet Scheepers .


Read full article on Trusted advice from pregnancy to preschool