Learn how to choose the best hand sanitizer for kids, as clean hands are vital for the overall health of your kids. This is especially important with the current COVID-19 pandemic, to save yourself and your li’l ones from infection with a few basics hygiene tips, keeping clean hands being number one of them!
That’s why washing hands or sanitising them several times a day, is highly recommended. There are two kinds of sanitisers: alcohol-based and alcohol-free. Since we’re talking about babies, toddlers and small children, the alcohol variety is out of question.
That leaves us with the alcohol free version, that usually use benzalkonium chloride, a known bacteria killing antiseptic, as its main ingredient. It is gentler on the skin but equally effective. Though it is milder than its alcoholic counterpart, it must never be ingested either.
Should We Be Sanitising A Baby’s Hands?
Coming to babies, the first place a baby’s hands go into are into their mouths. That’s like eating bacteria and viruses directly, so should we be sanitising a baby’s hands? The answer to that is NO.
For babies and small children, hands sanitisers are a strict no. Even the non alcoholic varieties are not suitable for children less than two years of age. The chemicals might irritate their sensitive skin. The use might interfere with their natural process of immunity development.
Also, babies put their hands in the mouth a lot, so the sanitisers (even the ones that claim to be ‘baby safe’) will end up in their mouths and stomachs! For such small children, only hand wash is recommended.
How To Choose Best Sanitiser For Kids
- Shouldn’t have alcohol or other known dangerous substances, specially triclosan
- If it has essential oils, vitamins (A and E), that’s cool!
- If it causes irritation to your child, do not use it again
- To be hundred percent sure – get it approved by your pediatrician
Why are Sanitisers So Popular?
Coughs, colds and viral infections are a standard part of preschool, yet they put the child and the rest of the family through a lot of grief. The child’s sleep and eating pattern gets disrupted, they get cranky, tired sleep-deprived and irritable. So does the mother. It’s no fun. It would be nice if the kids don’t catch ‘every’ infection that is passing through the school! And sanitising along with regular hand washing can prevent transmission of infections from one child to the other.
They’re a big help during travel and journeys when their hands would constantly be in contact with public chairs, tables, doors and walls. Sanitising will fight the germs gathered from all those places for a few hours, once applied.
After a session at the children’s park, apply kid friendly hand sanitizer to keep hands disinfected till you reach home and the children take the well-needed full body bath. Swings, slides, handle bars, monkey bars; all the children’s equipment at the playground can be a hotspot of infections even if cleaned daily!
Studies and researches conducted have recorded a significant decrease in flu’s, virals and similar infections when sanitizers were introduced in schools.
A Word of Caution
One must remember that hand sanitising is not a substitute for actual soap and water hand wash, but it is a handy tool nonetheless when one doesn’t have immediate access to clean water and soap. If the choice is between keeping hands dirty and sanitising, then of course one must sanitise. Keeping the situation in mind sanitising in addition to regular hand washing may be the best way forward.