I want to thank Dr. Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona’s Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, and consultant to Coverall Health-Based Cleaning SystemSM, as well as the co-author of The Germ Freak’s Guide to Outwitting Colds and Flu: Guerilla Tactics to Keep Yourself Healthy at Home, at Work, and in the World, for these beautiful tips to keeping our families safe during the summer.
Summer is a time for get-togethers and airing out the house.
Thankfully, the flu is rare in the months of Summer; however, foodborne outbreaks and enteroviruses become much more common.
Dr. Charles Gerber has put together some great tips to help keep these outbreaks at bay and ensure a safe and happy summer!
I share them with you here as Memorial Day Weekend launches the beginning of Summer’s Festivities here in Utah and, hopefully, where you reside as well.
Top Summer Safety Tips to Keep Kids Healthy
Ants aren’t the only picnic intruders.
Going on a picnic is a great family activity, but foodborne outbreaks can occur when food is kept warm for too long.
Salad dressing is one of the most popular places for bacteria to proliferate under warm temperatures.
Try to keep food in an ice-filled cooler to prevent it from rapid spoiling.
Also, try to avoid picnic tables instead of clean blankets; birds often land on picnic tables to eat crumbs, leaving fecal matter behind for unsuspecting victims.
Ensuring safer playtime.
Recent studies show that toys and playgrounds tend to become contaminated with E. coli and other fecal bacteria.
Soccer balls, footballs, bikes, slides, and handheld game devices are popular items for such contamination.
Encourage children to wash their hands after playtime for as long as it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice to make sure they’re staying clean.
Keep that sandbox covered.
When children aren’t outside playing in the sandbox, make sure the play area is covered.
Parasite infections are caused by cats and other animals, who tend to use sandboxes as a public restrooms.
Be careful around public pools.
In recent years, the waterborne parasite Cryptosporidium (diarrhea-causing bacteria) has been linked to many outbreaks.
Because the parasite is resistant to chlorine, the outbreaks have been associated with public chlorinated pools.
If you have small children, it is best to have them use a small wading pool in the backyard or to attend public pools in the morning when fewer children are present.
Pay special attention to surfaces.
Enterovirus and other bacteria can survive from days to weeks on some surfaces.
Regularly clean tabletops and computer equipment and encourage children to wash hands after touching keyboards, doorknobs, and the like.
Daycare Cleaning Services.
What kind of after-hours cleaning service does your child’s daycare employ?
Traditional cleaning services don’t always use the most up-to-date tools and strategies to get the job done and tend to pay less attention to “high-touch” points inside facilities.
On the other hand, health-based cleaning services use hospital-grade disinfectants, cutting-edge cleaning technology, and up-to-date strategies that reduce cross-contamination and focus on some of the more sensitive areas in the facility, like water fountain toggles (used more often by children with colds and diarrhea to stay hydrated).