With the recent Coronavirus outbreak, we thought it would be apt to write something about how to prepare for something like this! Whether you're completely prepared or haven't really started, we've got you covered.
It's great for future reference as well, cause if history has shown anything, it's that viral outbreaks will continue to be an ongoing theme. We saw panic and fear during the SARS outbreak in 2003, it took another 7 years for Mother Nature to brew another pandemic to mess with us 2 months into 2020!
Baby Hand Wash
Hand washing and clean personal hygiene remains the TOP first line of defense against bacteria and viruses!! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Antibacterial soaps are no more effective than regular soap and water for killing disease-causing germs. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has BANNED 19 supposedly antibacterial additives commonly found in the anti-bacterial soaps you so love! Why? Because -
"If you are washing your hands with antibacterial soap, you are exposing yourself and the environment to increased amounts of these chemicals without any measurable benefit. It is for this reason that the FDA has banned adding triclosan and 18 other common antibacterial agents to household soaps". The dangers of creating unnaturally drug resistant bacteria in the environment is very real by continuing to use over the counter anti-bacterial soap with additives.
Keeping Your Hands and Skin Moisturized
What's more, these soaps with all its additives can be extra drying on your skin much less on your baby's delicate, fragile skin? With the Coronavirus showing no signs of slowing down, hand washing will continue to be a priority, this repeated washing of will only make your skin more dry and brittle! Further use of alcohol sanitizer will only make it worse.
Our Brand New Baby Hand Soap by Gooberr™
This is exactly why we launched a new Baby Hand Soap specifically for this!! You can check it out here: Gooberr Baby Hand Soap. This liquid hand soap is free of Essential oils, Parabens, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Artificial Fragrances or Colorants - all of which can irritate new born skin.
Think about it, your baby has probably spent more time in the safe, controlled confines of your womb longer than he or she has been out here in the real world. There's so much "New" to deal with, louder noises, bacteria, viruses and environmental pollutants. We're not saying other all natural products are bad, just that some, essential oils for example in its pure forms, undiluted, used without professional oversight can be very harmful for babies. Essential oils have been known to cause chemical burns on skin. We've all experienced that extremely offensive perfume that caused us to sneeze and our noses irritated! Much less babies who have never really smelled anything but YOUR SMELL?
Best part is the soap is naturally anti-bacterial and anti-viral as we used Manuka Honey. This way you won't be exposing you, your baby, your family or the environment to those banned FDA additives. You may be tempted to want to bath your toddler more as well and while our product is suitable for body use too, do keep in mind that for most of your baby's first year, their skin is ULTRA THIN. There is no need to bathe your baby daily and too much washing can dry out your baby’s delicate skin, leaving it prone to rashes and infections.
Bathing your Baby
A quick wipe-down of your baby with a soft, damp cloth is good enough on most days! Otherwise, bath time should be limited to 5 to 10 minutes, two to three times a week. For these Baby Bath times, we recommend to use our Coco Oat made of Organic coconut milk and colloidal oats. It is a no rinse bath soak that when combined with water, the mixture creates a protective film on the surface of the skin. Perfect for any kind of itchy, inflamed, red, dry, scaly, sensitive skin or skin conditions like eczema. Soften, moisturize and soothe from head to toe, it's great for all skin types whether you're 1 Day Old or 360 Months Big.
This also brings me to the next topic of hand sanitizers.
DO NOT fall into non-alcohol sanitizer traps, I know a lot parents were out in throngs getting non-alcoholic hand sanitizers for your baby. Exactly because you already knew alcohol on baby skin is TOO HARSH. Unfortunately, for any type of hand sanitizer to be effective it MUST contain at least 60% alcohol content, effectiveness against germs falls dramatically if the alcohol content falls below this mark.
Some of this non-alcohol hand sanitizer products being sold contain the alcohol substitute benzalkonium chloride, which isn’t as good at killing germs and is not sufficient protection for your or your baby. Which is why hand washing remains the best "vaccine" or hand sanitizer against germs and bugs.
Making Your Own Sanitizer For Your Own Sanity
For yourself though, when the virus first broke hand sanitizers were SOLD OUT all over Singapore, it's something you can try to make on your own if you are not able to buy any ready made, over the shelf types. I know there were jokes around with people buying vodka as it contains 40% alcohol which really isn't enough pure alcohol content to kill microbes! We're following the recommended formulation per the World Health Organization.
How to Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer (100ml):
- 100ml Squirt Bottle
- 75ml Isopropyl Alcohol (99.8% Purity)
- 4.2ml Hydrogen Peroxide
- 1.5ml Glycerin
- 19.3ml Distilled Water
I have included links to the different ingredients, of which you can easily order or drop by your nearest pharmacy to pick up. If you don't want to buy distilled water, you can also use boiled then cooled water from the tap.
Add in order of stated ingredients! You may want to sue some of the distilled water to help dilute some of the sticky glycerin when adding into the mixture. Glycerin is a humectant that helps trap moisture, this will help ease the drying properties of using pure alochol on your skin.
Some like to add essential oils like Lavender or Eucalyptus, that's up to your preference! But we are not going to be adding that here as it can and may cause allergies for some!
We're talking Surgical Masks at least or even better, N95 Masks. NO, Pitta Masks, Cloth type masks. Pitta Masks is mostly meant for pollen, so no it doesn't really do anything for something like that coronavirus even if it looks cooler than your average mask on the street. And don't even get me started on Cloth type masks!! There is no filter in cloth masks to keep out particulate matter, so it basically does nothing to protect you.
While this may prompt you to go on a mask buying frenzy, do keep in mind that N95 masks have an expiry date! So don't buy more than you can use in the foreseeable future.
You can buy these at any local pharmacy shops like Watsons or Guardian. For surfaces you or your baby and loved ones may be touching. Though honestly, during times like these, it would be best to keep your babies at home away from dirty common areas which are cesspools of germs.
This way you also will not have to expose your baby's delicate skin to drying and irritating agents like alcohol or wet wipes with artificial fragrances that can potentially cause issues with their fragile skin. It would be preferred to use fragrance and colorant free gentle wash for your babies' hands, and to use a lightweight moisturizer to keep their skin from drying out. Which brings me to the next point -
We've already mentioned previously all the amazing benefits of breast milk for yourself and your baby. The milk you produce yourself will contain important antibodies to help your baby fight infections especially in scary times like these!! If you can help your baby fight the common flu, or cough, why risk taking a trip down to the GP or hospital where all the other potentially sick patients are?
That's exactly the beauty of your breastmilk - that on its own its the PERFECT source of nutrition for your baby for the first 6 months. Your baby literally doesn't need anything else. You also won't be at risk of fighting with others at the grocery store for formula milk, breathing in air borne bacteria and viruses. Read more at the link!
Best part is, gooberr cookies are always available and baked fresh to help support your supply.
Disinfecting your home
If you actually bought that liter of Isopropyl Alcohol I linked earlier in the post, it can be used to wipe down surfaces for a good cleaning! Otherwise bleach will also work. Both are effective disinfectants against viruses and bacteria but just be aware that it may destroy certain surfaces, for example, prolonged and repeated use of alcohol as a disinfectant can also cause discoloration, swelling, hardening and cracking of rubber and certain plastics.
Before you get down and dirty, make sure the area is well ventilated. Use a mask, rubber gloves, waterproof apron, and goggles also are recommended to protect the eyes from splashes. If you're using bleach, organic materials inactivate bleach so make sure you wipe clean surfaces before using. Also, keep in mind that bleach decomposes over time, affecting its effectiveness against the things you're trying to kill, so avoid overstocking and purchase fresh!
Stock up on Shelf Life Stable Food Items
This means things like:
- Pasta Sauce
- All kinds of Dried Spaghetti
- Canned/Packaged Corn - We like Del Monte (No added artificial ingredients, just the way we prefer)
- Frozen Broccoli/Vegetables
- Meat (Freeze this)
YES you can actually still eat healthy! There is lots of options available not just instant noodles ya know. Just some ideas for your pantry, the idea is to avoid having to carouse through the supermarket touching random produce others have touch and then rubbing your eyes.
Just because you're under Stay Home Notice or Self Isolation doesn't mean you can't have nutritious meals that isn't full of artificial additives.
Stock up on Necessities/ Household Items
- Gooberr Baby hand Soap
- Gooberr Coco Oat (Organic no rinse bath soak)
- Baby snacks
- Toilet paper
- some games or books to pass time
Again, the idea here is really to avoid going out in public as much as possible to reduce you and your family's exposure to germs! I know there was a lot of panic hoarding, don't! Buy enough for your family so that others can also prepare for their own. We could all use a little kindness!
There you have it!