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From since I was a little child, Dettol would be that name that was synonymous with protection. It was a solution to all the household problems, so much so that it was part of the wise advice of grandmothers and elderly people.
I heard it so often in so many scenarios. Anyone having a cut or bruise? Apply Dettol! Your kid suffering from gastro-enteritis? Use Dettol for hand-wash! Your kid sick with cold or cough? Apply Dettol to his clothes and towels! Worried that your floor is dirty for your kid to play? Pour Dettol into the water to mop the floor with! Dettol is one of those few names that are heard so many times in every household. I have been born with my mom using Dettol for our benefit. I have grown up with Dettol being applied to my cuts and nicks. And then, after having a baby, I have nurtured him with Dettol as my companion.
The first time a baby smiles, the first time he speaks, the first time he crawls, the first time he walks- such beautiful memories, aren’t they? They are beautiful and unforgettable memories. The first time a baby gets sick? They aren’t beautiful memories but for sure unforgettable. I can still remember my baby getting sick for two reasons. Reason one, is that for the first time I realised that a tiny baby’s cold hurts more than we can ever imagine it would. Reason two, is that I made some huge hygiene changes after the first time he became sick. After he became sick, my obsession with cleanliness and hygiene reached to the extent of paranoia, but I hardly cared. I truly went overboard with the rules that I applied for his hygiene, but it was all worth it when I saw that after that first bout of sickness, he hardly ever fell sick.
It seems just like yesterday, when he had a slight runny nose that turned into a full blown fever and a weepy nose by night fall. He was two months old then. I kept my cool the first day, thinking that his immunity wouldn’t be so bad and he would simply be alright in a day or two. But, my heart like every other mom’s heart was sick with anxiety. He was dull, and I could not see him that way because he was a very active kid. His runny nose was not letting him take milk. It was pathetic to watch him like that. The first day his fever was not so high and I could assuage my worried senses, but the second day, his fever shot right up and unable to put it all together any longer, we took him to the doctor. The doctor prescribed a few medicines and asked us to take more care of the hygiene of our child.
Till then, I only thought of Dettol as something to be applied when there was a cut or a bruise. But, after my son fell ill, I researched a little more on how to keep his environment clean and germ free and found immense use in it.
Firstly, I started with his clothes. I started soaking his clothes in Dettol for a few hours before washing them. After this one simple step, I started being more assured that his clothes were germ free to the best maximum possibility.
Next, I started pouring it into the water that was used to mop the floors. I concentrated extra hard on his play area that he is regularly exposed to and would mop it twice with this water.
Next, I used to soak a cloth in Dettol and use that cloth to wipe all his toys. This made me tension free that even if he keeps his toys in mouth, I had nothing to worry. They were germ-free and I was tension free.
I placed Dettol hand-wash in every corner of our household in highly visible places, so that we could apply it whenever we saw it. This was to ensure that as parents, we were the people who would expose him maximum to the germs and so, we washed our hands regularly with it.
His crib, soft toys, bouncers, cradles everything would be exposed to Dettol in regular intervals.
I brought home bottles and bottles of Dettol and it was always within my reach so I could use wherever I wanted to sterilize his stuff and environment.
The result of taking all these steps was he fell sick very rare, three times in two years to be precise. I always remained completely peaceful when I took every step to keep his surroundings clean. Only a fellow mother can understand the utter peace she gets when she has made sure that her baby’s surroundings are maximum clean.
It has been an age old bond with Dettol that is still continuing to be!