Hand sanitizer works.
From the minute Jack was born at 23 weeks, we were told about preemie lungs and the dangers of germs with an immune system that was not yet developed. We knew it was a life or death sort of thing. We took this news very, very seriously.
We stocked up on sanitizer in every form they sell it in - wipes, gel, lotion, spray. We got it all. I was the person going through the Walmart check out line with a cart full of sanitizer (of course after carefully wiping down each and every crevice of said cart).
And here is where I get real with ya'll. Before I touched Jack during his first RSV isolation season (basically when he got home from the NICU in September through May) I doused my hands with sanitizer. Each and every time before touching him. You heard me right. I probably sanitized my hands a hundred times a day.
I was anal about it, especially during that first year. And guess what? Jack never got sick. Not once. Jack's first illness was at age 2, when he got an ear infection. Before that time, he never had an antibiotic treatment, a nebulizer treatment, or any sort of cold med. And the icing on the cake? Because I was so anal about the sanitizing, I never got sick either.
In fact, I did not get ill for THREE YEARS. I give the credit to one thing. Hand sanitizing.
Some other helpful things in our situation: 1) Jack has no siblings 2) Jack was around zero children 3) Jon and I were around zero children 4) Jack was getting Synagis 5) every person stepping foot in our home was fully hand sanitized. 6) everyone - Jack, Jon, me, therapists, grandma and grandpa - got flu shots 7) Jack was in complete isolation (was never out in public) for two full RSV seasons.
This is not revolutionary. This is not hoky poky, spooky, or backwoods science. No. It's just easy peasy, plain and simple. Sanitizing your hands (often) works.
Yes, I was the crazy hand sanitizer lady. I wear that badge proudly.
Why am I even thinking about this? Because since Jack started preschool, the sanitizing has kind of gone bye bye. And here I am, nursing a cold that I've had for about a week. Simply, I don't sanitize as often and I'm paying the price.
Note: My intention with this post is not to make those feel less than, or bad about getting ill/getting a cold. With such fragile immune systems and lungs, some preemies get sick, no matter how hard one tries.There are things out of our control. Instances where getting ill is inevitable. But don't give up sanitizing. It is a very easy defense.
p.s. my favorite brand? The one from the picture above. Target brand, orange bottle. I love it so much. Yes, I think it's totally appropriate to love a sanitizer and have a favorite.