Practise these hygiene habits to keep infants healthy


  • Family
  • Thursday, 15 Jun 2023

With immunity that's not fully developed, it's important that the surfaces a baby comes in contact with are clean. — 123rf.com

Babies are not born with complete immunity.

According to global organisation Global Hygiene Council (DHC), until vaccination starts – typically at two to three months old – babies are susceptible to a range of common infections, including respiratory such as cold and flu and gastrointestinal like diarrhoea and vomiting.

So on top of continuing breastfeeding (which gives babies immunity), it is important to protect them from potential infections around the home.

Here are some hygiene tips:

Make sure all surfaces the baby comes in contact with are clean

Focus on cleaning countertops, floors or anything your baby may come into contact with. Aside from regular sweeping and dusting, disinfect surfaces to remove any germs or dirt that may be on them. Household surfaces are used very frequently and as a result, become hotspots for germs and viruses that could make parents or baby sick. Using a disinfectant spray can minimise the spread of germs.

Don't keep dirty baby clothes for too long

Dirty clothes kept in laundry baskets are susceptible to germs, especially when left for a long time. Washing them with a skin-safe, antibacterial detergent immediately can stop the spread.

Focus on hand hygiene

Keeping hands clean is key. It is important to wash hands frequently, especially after a diaper change, using the bathroom and before feeding the baby.

It is also important that adults caring for the baby are up-to-date on their vaccinations. This allows a protective circle to be formed around the infant until his or her immune system is more developed.

Dettol distributes baby protection kits to new parents at clinics and hospitals. — Dettol MalaysiaDettol distributes baby protection kits to new parents at clinics and hospitals. — Dettol Malaysia

Limit visitors

Babies are sensitive to the environment and new people, so it is advisable that parents keep visitors to a minimum for at least the first two weeks. Your child could unknowingly contract serious or even fatal illnesses simply through exposure.

Try to not let new people kiss or hug your baby. If you have visitors over who are not from your household, try keeping some antibacterial wipes on coffee tables or by entrances so guests can use them to limit the spread of germs before saying hello to your baby.

Know when to get help

Always call the doctor about a fever of 38C or higher in newborns up to three months old (especially babies one to two months old), as that requires immediate medical attention. For older babies, call the doctor if a fever lasts more than a few days or if it won't come down after medication.

To help new parents understand the importance of keeping their infants' area clean, Dettol Malaysia delivered over 240,000 baby protection kits so they can disinfect and clean their house before bringing the little one home.

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