DETROIT (WWJ) – Do you know what it takes to keep your nursery clean and your baby healthy? Probably not, according to a recent study commissioned by Playtex, surveying moms and moms-to-be on their germ-related knowledge.

The survey revealed that the majority of moms scored in the ‘D’ range – meaning that most don’t make the grade when it comes to minimizing the spread of germs in the nursery.

According to the survey, most moms have the basic germ knowledge down pat. Nearly all respondents (95% of new moms and 97% of expectant moms) correctly answered that it is best to wash your hands after every single diaper change.

Similarly, 87% of both new and expectant moms recognized that there is no such thing as the “five second rule” and correctly identified the rule as a myth since germ transfer is instantaneous.

However, moms’ germ knowledge seriously faltered on detecting and disinfecting germ hot spots in the nursery – areas where most bacteria typically gather including the floor, changing table, toys, and laundry hamper. According to Dr. Benjamin Tanner, a germ expert and microbiologist, putting an emphasis on cleaning these spots is a key element in helping to keep the nursery as germ-free as possible.

According to the survey, only about half of those surveyed (49% of new moms and 51% of expectant moms) correctly answered that germ hot spots should be disinfected at least once daily. And only about a third (32% of new moms and 35% of expectant moms) was aware that the changing table is the nursery’s number one germ hotspot.

Moms’ knowledge further faltered when asked about the best ways to eliminate germs and knowing whether or not those germs can be harmful to their baby. Less than half (47%) of new and expectant moms polled knew the correct amount of time a disinfectant must remain wet on a surface to effectively do its job, and a majority (53%) of those surveyed incorrectly thought that exposing children to germs strengthens their immune systems.

To help moms improve their germ knowledge and simplify their nursery cleaning routines, follow these simple steps:

  • Disinfect germ hot spots (floor, changing table, toys and laundry hamper) at least once a day to kill any harmful bacteria that may be lurking. Make sure to focus on these key areas more than others when disinfecting in the nursery.
  • Use an EPA-registered disinfectant when cleaning and always allow it to remain wet for 5-10 minutes before wiping to let it do its job. Afterwards, wipe the surface down with water to get rid of any chemical residue that may irritate your baby’s skin.
  • Keep a separate hamper in the nursery specifically for heavily soiled baby laundry. These clothes should be washed using hot water, which will help prevent bacteria from spreading in the wash.
  • The belief that exposing children to germs strengthens the immune system is a major misconception. Germ exposure should always be avoided!

The Nursery Survey was conducted online among 1,000 mothers ages 18 and older selected from a national panel of moms maintained by Survey Sampling International. The survey included 500 expectant mothers and 500 mothers of infants ages 0-12 months old.


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