2023 Author: Anita Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 18:44
Our babies and children are small and fragile, let's not expose them unnecessarily to germs! Let's see the risks and how to protect them.
Parallel between the ways our grandmothers used to protect infants and children and our very different 21st century habits!
Infections were a leading cause of death in children and infants at the turn of the century. Children would die of diphtheria, poliomyelitis, pneumonia, gastroenteritis, influenza, tuberculosis, etc. Today, these infections have given way to meningitis, sepsis, and flesh-eating bacteria, but deaths from infections are becoming increasingly rare.
When I discuss with my grandmother how we raised children yesterday and how we do it today, there are really big differences. In the same vein, women raising children at the turn of the last century did not take advantage of all fever medications, antibiotics, vaccines and disinfectants. They didn't even know how germs are transmitted! So how did they protect their infants from the germs that were circulating? At the same time, how do we mothers of today act to protect ourgerm babies?
The Guard Mode
In the past, children were kept at home. A definite advantage since there was less chance of germs being transmitted from one person to another. Today, sometimes even before 6 months, infants are placed in daycare where germs abound. In fact, a child who attends a childcare service, whether in a facility or in a home environment, runs three times more risk of contracting an infection than a child staying at home. More than ever, daycare service managers and other stakeholders are aware of this problem and are putting tools in place to minimize this risk.
At the turn of the century, all food was homemade. Today, cooked, frozen, processed and ready-to-eat meals have taken the place of good homemade food.
Children at the beginning of the century spent most of their day playing outside breathing in clean air, on the other hand, their resistance to germs was increased and the chances of transmitting them to each other were diminished. Today, the child spends much more time in front of the television than outside, a definite advantage for germs.
The once jealously guarded baby to today's trophy baby
My grandmother explains very clearly to me that a newborn baby rarely came out in her time. No question of walking to the church or to the market with anew born. No question either of having them taken by everyone. Infants were "reserved" for mothers and nurses. The baby was kept clean and dry in its bassinet away from the family hubbub. Today, having children is more of an achievement than a natural path in life. We are in ecstasy in front of these newborns, we want to take them all in our arms, we even allow ourselves to touch their faces (the gateway to several germs!) Very young mothers, barely out of the hospital, take their infants to shopping malls, preferably in gangs, change their diapers on changing tables in public places (danger!), take them to restaurants, parties, etc. The more people who say congratulations to us, the more people see our children, the happier we are. Quite a difference!
"You're sick, go to bed" said my grandmother
"You're sick, take this medicine and hurry up we're late!" we often say!A huge difference between the two eras is the reaction to illness. My grandmother did not hesitate to babysit her children for several days if necessary to get them back on their feet! Today, there is no question of missing several days of work for a simple infection! A little syrup or medicine and here we go again!
One of the only positive differences I've seen in our time is that we take more time to wash our hands than before. Indeed, people were fewsensitive to this small gesture, unless of course they have very dirty hands. But today we know that visibly clean hands can carry disease-causing germs!
In short, a great awareness of our habits which may need to be revised slightly… Our grandmothers once knew that life was fragile, that it was hanging by a thread and that there I had to protect her as much as possible. I believe that today, we have lost this notion of fragility, because we have a lot of medical means at our disposal to treat our children. However, we should learn from the wisdom of our grandmothers who nevertheless remain mothers for life! Thank you Grandma.
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