My whole life I’ve heard my mother repeating this saying. When we were kids we went outside, ran around, got dirty! It’s just part of being a kid. Now that I’m a parent It’s up to me to decide how dirty is enough. With germs, and super bugs, and creepy crawlies lurking under every stone, It’s up to me to keep my family safe and healthy. A daunting task, you may think? Not really! In my personal opinion, “A little bit of dirt won’t hurt!” and will probably make you healthier.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not rolling my son, naked, down the side walk, or letting him eat food that’s fallen on the Rideau Centre floor! That’s just gross. On the flip side, I’m not going to boil his soothers or bleach his toys either. In his whole 15 months, I can almost pin point the cause of each time he’s been sick. I can also tell you that 4 out of 5 times the sources were other people, not the shoe he may have licked, or the toys in his room I didn’t boil.
So where do you draw the line? Here are my top 5 dirty rules:
1. Wash toys once a month. Usually I fill O’s Whale Of A Tub with dishsoap and hot water for the plastic toys, and throw the stuffed animals (at least, the worst for ware ones) in the laundry. *Note, I will rinse off playroom toys that have gone on outdoor adventures when we come in.
2. Do not eat food that has fallen on the ground, especially downtown! (In your own house is fine:)
3. Wash your hands when you come in, especially if you were at the park, or on the bus. (Those tiny handS WILL end up in their mouth at some point, and so will yours for that matter!)
4. Don’t eat chunks of dirt, or rocks! A little sand won’t kill you, but come on!
5. Chew on your coat, scarf, hat, diaper bag, toys, all you want, but for the love of all that is good, stop trying to lick the stroller wheels!!!
So with summer underway, play dates, and park trips in full swing, try to remember: A little bit of dirt won’t hurt;)