As parents, we like to ensure that we keep a rigorously maintained home that’s clean tidy and, of course, comfortable. This is not only important for our personal well being; your home, after all, should be a refuge from the outside world and its myriad problems, but it’s also crucial that our kids grow up with a healthy respect for their environment. The reason we insist that they tidy their rooms and insist that they pitch in with the household chores is because we recognize the psychological and physical benefits of a well maintained, clean and orderly home. Yet, no matter how hard we scrub and how diligently we cleanse, sometimes things slip through the net. We all know that good health starts in the home, but every now and then, even the cleanest and most orderly of homes can fall victim to invisibly tiny risks to your kids’ health such as…
The enemies in your AC
Most homes use some form of air conditioning to maintain the perfect temperature all year round. But few of us realize just how many contaminants like mold, dust and animal dander can be recirculated by the AC system. Ask HarsterHeating.com and they’ll tell you that even the best AC systems need to be regularly maintained and cleaned out. If filters are not changed and the many channels in the AC system are not cleaned, they can be a magic carpet for harmful bacteria.
The fiends in your food
As sparkling clean as your kitchen may appear, we all fight a never ending battle against food borne illnesses that can, in our children, lead to potentially severe health problems. Even if you rigorously clean your kitchen and cooking utensils a few nasty bacteria can lurk in your food if you don’t take active steps to stop them. These include;
Listeria- Can be transmitted to fresh fruits and vegetables by infecting the soil and water that nourish them. It can also be transmitted to meat and dairy products when animals eat foods grown in listeria contaminated soil. It can even spread from contaminated to uncontaminated foods.When this bacterium is eaten in food in can cause a potentially serious condition called Listeriosis. The symptoms include headaches, fever, muscle aches, nausea, convulsions and in pregnant women it can even cause miscarriage. You can avoid it by thoroughly washing raw vegetables, thoroughly cooking meats and cheeses and washing your hands thoroughly before and after food prep.
Campylobacter- Though it may be hard to pronounce, it’s actually the most common cause of food poisoning in the US. It’s most commonly found in chicken and poultry when the food animal comes into contact with the infected feces of another animal. It can result in fever, headaches, muscle pain, vomiting, bloody diarrhea and abdominal pain. Avoid it by making sure meats (especially poultry) are thoroughly cooked, washing your hands after handling household pets and washing your hands before preparing food and after handling raw meat.
Kids have vulnerable and developing immune systems. While they tend to be able to build these up over time (and yes, all that crawling around on the floor in their infancy probably helps), we need to give them a helping hand to ensure that they can grow up in a clean, beautiful and healthy house.