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Our Favourite Ways to Keep Germs at Bay

Cold and flu season is well underway, and with fluctuating temperatures there seems to be a new strain running rampant every week! Here's how to maximise your hygiene routine


Whether you've noticed colleagues dropping like flies or had your child sent home from their nursery, germs are everywhere - keeping up with hygiene is very important. We asked the experts at Milton - who develop eco-friendly hygiene and skincare products for all ages - for a few tips on how to combat those pesky germs this winter.

How to prevent the spread of germs

Wash hands frequently - both yours and your children's

Washing hands correctly is one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy. The average hand contains about 150 different species of bacteria, which are easily transferred to other parts of the body and to other people through day-to-day contact.

Wash hands correctlyWash hands after toileting

We recommend you wash hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, and dry well with a clean towel. Make sure to wash hands:

  • Before and after eating, handling food or feeding your baby/child
  • After using the toilet, changing nappies or helping your child use the toilet
  • After helping your child wipe his nose or mouth
  • After travelling on public transport

In the absence of running water and soap, use an alcohol-based hand gel. Put on enough so it takes at least 30 seconds to dry.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces

Surfaces such as counters and door handles can harbour more than 100,000 bacteria per square inch. Some viruses and bacteria can live on surfaces anywhere from a few minutes up to several months.

Use an antibacterial surface spray, or antibacterial surface wipes on a daily basis to clean surfaces and kill germs. It's also a good idea to clean small surfaces such as doorknobs, handles and switches.

How to sterilise your equipment

There are two ways to sterilise

Babies have fragile immune systems, especially in the first year of their lives. This means that they are more susceptible to catching germs. Sterilising babies' feeding equipment is important as it kills germs, including fungi, bacteria and viruses - washing only removes some of the germs:

Sterilise breastfeeding accessoriesWhen sterilising, think about everything that goes in your baby's mouth - Bottles and teats, also soothers, teethers, plastic toys and weaning equipment (spoons, cups, bowls). For a step-by-step guide on how to sterilise, check out these videos on Milton's website.

Beware when breastfeeding

If you are breastfeeding, you may not be sterilising bottles, but it's a good idea to remember to sterilise breast-pump parts and nipple shields too. This is because the mixture of milk (whether from the breast or formula) with your baby's saliva creates an ideal breeding ground for bacteria.

Although by the age of one babies generally have a stronger immune system, it is still not as well developed as an adult's. This is why the experts at Milton actually recommend sterilising right up until your baby's first birthday.

Babies' soothers

In a recent study we did on the cleanliness of soothers, we found out almost all the soothers being using were contaminated with harmful bacteria of some kind.

Even areas that look clean can still be covered with germs; this is why it's important to sterilise soothers regularly, especially if they have been dropped. Don't forget that bacteria can contaminate items in an instant.

Try a portable steriliser

Invest in a Portable SteriliserTry using a Portable Soother Steriliser - a totally unique and practical way to safely sterilise your baby's soothers whether you are at home or out and about. The ball-shaped device is really easy to use, and cleans and sterilises in 15 minutes. Plus it makes a safe, germ-free home to store a spare soother when you are out and about.

If your baby has been ill, consider replacing all their soothers with new ones. Make sure you change your baby's soother at least every three months. For a step-by-step guide on how to sterilise soothers, watch our video.

How to be hygiene-smart when travelling

Protecting against diseases and infections

Infectious diseases can easily be picked up while travelling, whether by public transport or in your own car. That's why it's important to keep the risk of catching and spreading of germs to a minimum.

Use an antibacterial hand gel before and after using public transport. Wash your hands regularly and as soon after travelling as you can (you'd be surprised the number of germs on a forecourt petrol pump!)

Take care particularly when travelling to developing countries. If your travel destination is one with questionable water quality, make sure to use a safe water source such as bottled water and when sterilising use Sterilising Fluid or Tablets.

More information

To find out more about Milton, you can visit their website, Facebook page, or follow them on Twitter.

The Baby Show

How to prevent infection spreading

Are you going to The Baby Show at ExCeL, London this February? Don't miss Milton's fantastic competition, where you could win one of three Golden Tickets hidden inside their Mini Portable Soother Sterilisers - and win £50 of shopping vouchers! To find out more, visit stand G38.

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