The Wicked Germs!Yes it’s that time of year again when your child’s immune system becomes compromised with the advent of cold season and germs. Moms become vigilant defenders against these germs which invade their homes and children. It’s the nurse in me that wants to spread the word of prevention on these elusive micro-organisms. I thought this month’s blog would be fun to write as a short story describing germ prevention rather than a boring editorial of explaining what germs are, how they grow, and why they spread. So here we go with a fun fairytale filled with some scientific facts and most importantly the message of managing the germs around us. In the land of Nottingham, long, long ago there was a beautiful enchanted world where Princess Mattie, and her younger sister, Norah Bora lived. Mattie was only three years old and found many interesting places to explore, touch, taste and experience. After all, she was learning about the beautiful world around her. All that Mattie saw was fantastic and her curiosity to touch and explore delighted as well as excited her! Being a very independent little Princess, Mattie insisted on opening all doors by herself. This included carriage doors, castle doors, school doors, and many more. Her little sister Princess Norah Bora was just 9 months old and learning to walk by holding onto furniture, lunging from piece to piece all the while putting EVERYTHING in her mouth. Both Princesses frolicked and enjoyed their beautiful world but no one saw the lurking, wicked GERMS! These germs where here, there, everywhere in the land of Nottingham. The problem was that no could see where these germs were….they were invisible! The germs called bacteria, virus, fungi, and parasites can linger and spread to make little princess sick. They invade bodies, eat our nutrients, zap our energy, make us weak, and produce symptoms of fevers, sneezes, coughs, diarrhea and yes, yucky nausea. The Queen mum readies herself to help defend against some of the wicked germs by protecting her young Princesses’ with shots called immunizations. Queen Mum strengthens her little princess’s immune systems by ordering a feast of good foods with lots of fruits and vegetables. During the day both Princess Mattie and Princess Norah Bora’s Nanny likes to read them about the good healthy habits found in the book: Toddler Tootsies Take on the Day! Nanny Nancy reads to the young Princesses how eating healthy foods, good exercises, and important sleep makes them stronger. The young Princesses delight and giggle at the characters of Matt and Mattie adventures found in the book and they want to follow the way to healthy habits! This will help them become strong to defeat the nasty invisible germs. Princess Mattie, the curious one with tons of questions ask Nanny Nancy what else can they do to prevent the spread of germs. Nancy explains the NO SPREAD ZONE. This is where everyone can cover their mouths while coughing, or sneezing. This will protect the spread of any germs we cannot see. Nanny Nancy showed Mattie how to do this and soon Mattie looked like a Kung-Fu fighter pretending to sneeze putting up one elbow bend then the next. Then, Nanny Nancy royally waves a pink cloth! Was this to surrender to all the fun? But alas, no, it was what she called a “Kleenex” or the two sisters affectionately dubbed a “sneezy cloth.” Nanny Nancy took a big huff and puff like in the story of the three little pigs but she held one side of her nose and blew out something yucky from her nose. There now she laughingly said “All the better to smell and I am no longer stuffy!” Most importantly she instructed the girls to always act like the Princesses they are and never, ever, pick their nose! She also asked them not to share sippy cups, or crystal glasses since germs can spread back and forth that way. Do not infect others by staying at the royal palace when sick to get better, resting and eating good foods. Finally, Nanny Nancy revealed the most important lesson to knock the germs out: Handwashing, Handwashing, and Handwashing! Wash from the top, bottom and in between tiny fingers. But because Nanny Nancy is smart and knows the little Princesses both like to play in water she reminds them that if they wash their hands for 15 secs by singing their favorite song Happy Birthday, then the germs will disappear. It’s like magic she tells them. To make learning even more fun Nanny Nancy plays the tubby time song for the Princesses at bath time. At the end of their day Queen Mum proclaims: “Go forth my little ones to learn and tell others of good habits to Protect, Defend and Defeat the Germs!” I hope you can all help make our world a little healthier by teaching children about germs and handwashing. Have a wonderful and safe Halloween! See you next month.