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Petri Dish Revisited

A reader wrote in and asked for additional thoughts on the subject of germs and babies. It is no secret that hospitals are the best places to pick up germs. If you ever need proof of this, watch how long a doctor will actually stay in the hospital when they have to have an operation. However, it’s not like you can avoid going to the doctor’s office and in this case the benefits outweigh the risks. For babies, germs present the biggest challenge during the first two months of life. Our pediatrician warned us that a fever at that age was very serious. He said that during the first two months dealing with a baby that has a fever was basically veterinary medicine. There is no way for the baby to indicate or show what is wrong, so the medical staff, in some cases, will admit the baby to the hospital and conduct a battery of blood tests. As the baby gets older, it becomes easier to diagnosis what is causing them distress, for instance a baby may pull on his ear when she has an earache.

The other big no-no during the first few months is taking the baby out in crowded places. Baby shouldn’t go to the mall or supermarket. A new parent should embrace this restriction because when you are on no sleep the last place you should be is the mall parking lot. When people visit a new baby they should avoid kissing or touching his face and always use lots of Purell. Another trick I learned for when young children want to see the baby is to let them play with the baby’s feet. We were fortunate that LTD never had a fever during the first few months especially since finding a good thermometer is not even a little bit easy, but alas that is a tale for another time.

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