Ways to Protect Your Baby from Public Surface Germs
Let’s talk about germs.
As a parent, your busy baby puts you in some unique situations. From eating off the floor, to sucking on shopping cart handles, to putting ALL the things in their mouths... they keep you on your toes and more cautious about germs.
Preventing the spread of germs is a big part of the daily routine that keeps your baby safe and healthy.
While parents aren’t new to germs, the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), has increased the level of germ awareness across the globe.
According to the CDC, the virus typically spreads from person to person through respiratory droplets that are transmitted from coughing, sneezing, or talking. Due to its composition, the virus can live on various surfaces for several days. Although more research is being done to find out how the virus spreads, health experts have found that coming into contact with contaminated surface areas can lead to contracting the illness.
As a result, health experts recommend cleaning surface areas as often and thoroughly as possible. But this can be challenging to do, especially when you have a busy baby to keep up with.
While it’s important to clean the surfaces in your home and in public, adding the Busy Baby Mat to your daily routine puts an extra barrier between your baby and any lingering germs.
For extra precaution, always disinfect surface areas before putting the mat down for your baby to enjoy. This can help prevent surface germs from sticking to the bottom of your mat.
The CDC recently shared that using soap and water is the first step to disinfecting soft surfaces against the coronavirus. So, if you're using the mat at home, you can’t go wrong with using good old-fashioned soap and water to clean surfaces beforehand.
However, if you’re planning to take your baby for a trip outdoors, you may want to bring along a surface cleaner with a little more kick. There are several products you can try to get the job done. In fact, the U.S. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides a list of over 300 disinfecting products you can use in your home. Many of these products can also be used on public surface areas, while you're on the go.
When choosing a cleaner, you’ll want to check the label to make sure it can take care of bacteria and viruses that live on soft surfaces. Health experts also suggest using environmentally friendly cleaners that don’t have lots of harsh chemicals.
Once you’ve got your ideal cleaning product, you can use it to wipe down tables, highchairs, travel systems, or any other smooth surface before placing your mat down. We also recommend cleaning surfaces in these specific ways to ensure your baby’s safety:
Skip the baby wipes.
Although tempting, baby wipes aren’t strong enough to destroy deadly surface germs. However, you can still use them for your baby or to wipe down washable marker residue off your mat. They also work great to improve suction. Simply wipe down the suction cups and the surface before you put down the mat.
Swipe right (or left).
If you’re using alcohol or ammonia-based wipes, the CDC recommends you practice the wipe-discard-wipe method. Contrary to popular belief, wiping a surface in circular motions moves germs around, rather than removing them completely. You can remove more surface germs by wiping in one direction, tossing the wipe, and wiping the surface once more.
If you’re short on wipes, just remember...a contaminated wipe shouldn’t be passed over an area that has just been wiped. Instead, try folding the contaminated wipe after each swipe. This offers a new surface for each swipe.
Spray and slay.
If you’re using a disinfectant spray, the CDC recommends the spray-wipe-spray method. Letting the disinfectant sit for a few moments gives it time to destroy existing germs. Wipe the germs away and spray the surface area once more to kill off any remaining germs.
Air-dry, then give it a try.
After wiping or spraying away any germs, always wait another few seconds for the surface area to dry. The suctions on the back of your mat work best on dry surfaces. Once dry, place your mat down and let your busy baby have at it!
Clean it again—yes, again.
When you're all done, don’t forget to clean the mat once more—especially if you’re using it in a public space. Use your disinfectant to quickly wipe it off from front to back. Then roll it up and put it in its sleeve.
If you’re using it home, you can stick to using soap and water or toss it in your dishwasher.
For added germ protection, you can also place your mat in a large zip lock bag if you plan to store it in a bag in between uses. However, zip lock bags aren’t necessary to maintain cleanliness. The mat’s sleeve is the perfect barrier against germs all on its own.
Speaking of the sleeve...don’t forget to wash that too! You can hand wash it or machine wash it every few uses.
Now...if you’re not doing this already, these added steps may seem a little overwhelming.
And you're 100% right.
Being more conscious of germs and taking the extra steps to clean everything your baby encounters takes work.
But we know you’re willing to go the extra mile to keep your baby germ free. And we’re certain that, after putting these steps into practice, the added precautions will start to become a normal part of keeping your baby happy and healthy.
Other than cleaning surface germs...what are some other ways you and your busy baby are staying safe at home during COVID-19?
Tag us on Instagram @busybabymat and share your story with us. We can’t wait to hear it!