Most of the times, my elder kid goes out on her own to play with her friends in the building playground. No matter how much I would love to accompany her, I am either busy with looking after the younger one or housework or running errands. I also work part-time, so in all, I tend to have a hectic day from Monday to Friday.
My daughter usually carries a fruit to the park, as an evening snack. Apples, mangoes, oranges and grapes are her favourite. She also takes chaklis and biscuits sometimes. On certain days, when I go down to the park, I have seen that the kids have a blast jumping, playing hide and seek, pakram-pakrai, pitto and kho-kho. Along with all the masti, the kids don’t realize how mud-caked and dirty their hands become. And when it’sbreak time and they want to feast over their snack, they just dust off their mud-spattered hands, open the snack box and dig in. And in go all the germs, bacteria, dirty mud which combined with the summer heat could lead to loose motions, tummy ache or vomiting.
As a mother, I realize that if I can’t be around to take care of her health and hygiene when she is by herself, the least I can do is to equip her with the necessary hygiene essentials. One option would be to stop her from eating when outside the house, but then I feel that’s not feasible. When their friends take out their snack boxes for the feast, she will obviously love to be part of the party. During school lunch hours, the bus ride back home or when out shopping, it’s not practical to stop eating outside the home.
So, we are trying to build a habit of carrying hand sanitizer wherever she heads out. A hand sanitizer works by disrupting the germs on the skin and kills them instantly without the need for water. I have bought the Dettol hand sanitizer along with the rubbery sanitizer cases which attach easily to bags via a simple knot. The portable hand sanitizer bottle goes inside this case. I have attached one to her school bag and another one to her evening-time sling bag.
Whenever it is possible, she first washes her hand by pouring a little bit of water on her palms, especially in the playground area where dropping a small amount of water is not an issue. Then she just wipes it with a thick face towel. When the thick towel runs against her wet palms, it absorbs most of the dirt as against a small tissue or handkerchief which being very thin, tends to get crumpled and NOT remove the dirt significantly. The kids are also usually in a great big hurry when it comes to washing hands clean. So that way a big chunk of dirt is eliminated due to the roughness of the face towel. As a face towel is very small, it fits easily in her evening bag or lunch box bag.
Wet wipes would be another option, but I realize that I always run out of wet wipes when I need them for everyday use. Or they have gone dry as most times we mindlessly forget to close the cover tightly.
On summer days, I replace her bottle with a bigger bottle, so that she doesn’t run out of water, avoiding the need for a refill at school’s water cooler.Through hygiene standards are usually high at the school, I think it’s safest to carry your own water. It’s one of the easiest hacks to prevent infections.
This article was first published here
Image Courtesy: kwcafeterias