Every mother knows that she needs to constantly stay aware and alert to the changing times for her children. Alarmed by the increasing number of illnesses, I have turned into the overcautious mom, who is constantly looking out for the first signs of any illness hovering around my children so that I can nip it in the bud. I’m pretty certain that, just like me, most moms today have been forced to become this overboard, and a paranoid mother on a crusade to protect her children from the big bad world.
Whether it’s about washing hands before eating, or letting the child take the pet out for a walk, as parents, we all end up feeling apprehensive about our children’s hygiene. This paranoia has cropped up owing to quite a few serious concerns.
- Sanitation – You can be there to remind your children and ensure that they wash their hands and stay hygienic, but that is only when you are together at home. Once your child is outdoors, all those instructions come to nought because outside the hygienic confines of your home, he is exposed to many more germs every day. What’s worse is that a lot of the germs today have evolved to become more threatening than the germs during our times. So, the germs on the football, bat or even the swings of today are more dangerous and resistant than the ones we were exposed to while playing.
- Food and Water Intake – From eating candies, noodles and other junk food to drinking water from a friend’s bottle, we can’t really put a cap to what our child consumes while in school or while playing with his friends. The news of food adulteration, high levels of lead and other chemicals in foods making headlines, the thought never leaves a mother’s mind that her child is more likely to fall prey to stomach-related diseases due to consuming food or liquid from contaminated sources.
- Contact with Animals – If you’ve chosen deliberately to not keep a pet at home and your child turns out to be an animal lover (which believe me, most of them are!), he is highly likely to pet and play with stray dogs or cats outside. In such cases, there’s a significant risk of your child contracting contagious infections from strays. And that’s one of the most important reasons I ensure that my children always wash their hands thoroughly with an anti-bacterial soap before touching anything else in the house.
- Injuries – I think I must’ve reprimanded my children a couple of times for their carelessness when they got hurt, and I was later alarmed to discover some wounds and bruises they hadn’t told me about! Children often tend to avoid telling parents about injuries encountered while playing outside or running around in the house, for fear of being scolded by us. Prone as they are to injuries all the time, if left untreated, some injuries can turn into major infections. And no one is more bothered by this fact than a mother.
As much as we may want to keep our kids protected, the comfortable and ‘hygienic’ indoors reek of boredom and loneliness for any child used to staring at the computer or the same old board games. Besides, even we parents cannot deny having experienced the sheer joy of stepping out and playing outdoor games or running around carefree with friends during our childhood. It is only normal, and even healthy, for our children to jump, play, yell and dance around with friends. Then again, health is the bigger priority so we must ensure that our children follow hygienic habits like frequent hand washing, and bathing with anti-bacterial soaps etc.