Precautions within your home can limit the spread of diarrhea. The spread of coughs and colds is much harder.
- First: Hand washing has the greatest impact on preventing diarrhea. Rinsing the hands vigorously with plain water is probably as effective as using soap and water. It also takes less time and prevents chapping. Hand washing is especially important after using the toilet or changing a diaper.
- Second: Half of raw chicken and turkey contain bacteria that cause diarrhea, so cook them thoroughly. After preparation, carefully wash your hands and any objects (such as knife or cutting board) that came in contact with the raw poultry.
- Third: A surprising finding in recent studies is that hand washing is also the mainstay for preventing the spread of colds.
- Fourth: Don't smoke around your children. Passive smoking increases the frequency and severity of all types of respiratory infections.
- Fifth: Choose a small daycare home over a large daycare center.
Finally: Don't attempt to isolate your child within your home. By the time your child shows symptoms of infection, she has already shared her germs with the family. The spread of colds, within a family unit, is not controllable.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 6/1/2008
Last Revised: 6/1/2000
Copyright 1994-2008 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages.