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Keep Your Nursery Germ-Free



Germ expert provides advice to Hudson Valley parents


Keeping a nursery as germ-free is an important topic for our Hudson Valley parents -- especially new parents -- and so we checked with germ-expert, Dr. Benjamin Tanner, and got some real helpful and practical tips for keeping baby's room clean and as germ-free as possible.  The good news is, it's not as hard as you think.

Exposing kids to germs at a young age is not a good idea
"There's a misconception out there that exposing our children to germs at a young age will make their immune systems strong," says Dr. Tanner.  "That is not the case.  If a child is raised in an environment, like a farm, where there are a lot of- natural organisms, they will less likely develop asthma or allergies as an adult," Dr. Tanner explains. "But a child exposed to a lot of infectious germs is not going to necessarily build a stronger immune system."  They will just be sicker kids.

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Know your cleaning labels
The nursery, especially the diaper changing area, is what Dr. Tanner refers to, a germ "hot spot."  And particularly, the diaper, is a "germ bomb."  That's why areas that come in contact with dirty diapers must be cleaned with products that say disinfectant, antibacterial, or says the words, "kills germs."   If the label says, "makes your room hygenic," that doesn't mean it kills germs.

And while these products may contain harsh chemicals, don't fear them.  It's important to use them to clean these "hot spots" completely, but then use a water rinse to wipe away the chemical residue.  "You've disinfected the area, now rinse away the chemical with plain water," he says.  That's all you have to do. 

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Clean from 'less dirty' areas to 'hot spots'
Clean from areas "less dirty" to those labelled as "hot spots."  That way you aren't moving the germs from place to place. "If you wipe the diaper area with a rag, and then go wipe another area, you've just transferred germs.  Start from the dresser to the door knob, then the toys, and then hit the germ center and you reduce cross-contamination.

Dogs and cats pose no germ risk to children but birds, reptiles and amphibians naturally carry salmonella and another germ called "campylobacter," which is something that those creatures carry in their digestive systems naturally, but can be truly fatal to children and even adults.