Cleaning

Cleaning products and toxicity

I couldn’t help but laugh the other day as I was watching a commercial about a cleaning liquid. A beautiful young mummy, perfectly dressed and coiffed enthusiastically cleans her kitchen. With a mop in her hand, and a bottle of neon green, improved-formula anti-bacterial detergent in the other, she glides her mop on the kitchen floor. A glistening streak of germ free-cleanliness instantly appears transforming her dull kitchen into a wonderland of cascading blooms and rays of sunshine. Her floor is radiant; her smile is radiant and her little ones, observing gleefully, radiate health and good nature. She is a domestic goddess, crowned by her good choice in detergents. She is the champion of her family’s well-being and happiness through her floral-scented wisdom. She is the mother that we all strive to be…We’ve all seen the commercials, time and time again. Yet, what are they really telling us?

The messages are clear: chemical detergents are our allies in keeping our families healthy and successful. We can elevate our status from average mother to wonderful mother by how clean and sterile our homes are. Supermarket shelves are packed with hundreds of bottles of detergents that promise us health. Why then are we seeing an “allergy and autoimmune epidemic” in developed societies? If our homes are so clean, why are we getting so sick? Think of it: by cleaning and sanitising our homes through chemicals we are effectively creating sterile environments where good microbes which stimulate our immune systems are eradicated while also loading our indoor environment with toxic fumes and residues. This is where our children live, eat, sleep and play…every day. We are effectively achieving the opposite of what we set out to do.

The other day, I was reading about the “Hygiene Hypothesis” which in measure explains that the increase in asthma and autoimmune diseases may be due to sterile home environments that do not offer enough diversity in germs needed to stimulate and educate developing immune systems. Studies within certain farming communities in the Unites States reveal some startling results. Living very traditional ways of life, they shun the comforts and products of developed societies. They are daily exposed to animals and live a very natural life that is close to the land. Interestingly, they have dramatically lower incidents of asthma and autoimmune diseases within their communities.

As a nursery in Dubai with so many children present we have to make sure that the environment is clean but not sterile. Kid’s Island and Cocoon nursery are eco-friendly where the importance of cleanliness is obvious. Clean environments, whether school or home, should not mean sterile chemical zones but ones where the environment, children, parents and staff members are respected. The use of ENJO microfibers, “Baby Air” air purifiers, pure soap and essential oils have been our mainstay for years now and part of our core values and ethos. Come see us in the office for more ideas of chemical-free cleaning.

Does starting Nursery mean that children will constantly fall sick?

With an eyebrow raised in worry comes the question I always wait for: “Will my child get sick when she starts nursery?” It is one of the things we get asked by mums who are starting nursery and one of those questions that they know the answer to but still ask anyway. The answer I always give is: “Yes. Generally children who start nursery for the first time will get sick; it is unavoidable and part of strengthening their developing immune systems”. As nonchalant as I try to be, mummies are always particularly worried especially after the dramatic and woeful stories of weeks of illness they hear from their friends and acquaintances. Yet, as unavoidable as this is, the nursery can make a difference. I can hear you ask how?

Well, it is true that nursery children fall sick during their nursery years, but a nursery environment with a solid cleaning routine and a robust Infection Control Policy will minimise children’s absences due to illness. With so many children present, hygiene is vital. Here at the nursery, for example, we have 3 levels of cleanliness: every classroom is fitted with the “Baby Air” air purifier which helps to minimise mould and bacterial particles. Classrooms are cleaned 3 times daily with special attention given to toys, surfaces and floors. More intense cleaning is done on Saturdays, when mats and toys are washed, sanitised and left in the sun. Floors are scrubbed and surfaces are cleaned and sanitised with eco-friendly, non-toxic products. Our wonderful ladies around the nursery have a very comprehensive cleaning routine which they enthusiastically adhere to. Additionally, our AC’s are cleaned and biologically sanitised by Saniservice.

Parallel to this, the nursery has a strict Infection Control Policy which has been drawn to protect the health and safety of everyone who circulates within its walls. Ultimately, the cleanliness routine, the use of non-toxic cleaning products and a carefully implemented Infection Control policy will benefit the children of the nursery by minimising repeated infections. In this way, children’s absences due to illness are reduced.

Kid’s Island and Cocoon nursery are eco-conscience nurseries where the importance of cleanliness is obvious. Clean environments, whether school or home, should not mean sterile chemical zones but ones where the environment, children, parents and staff members are respected. The use of ENJO microfibers, pure soap, bio-sanitiser and essential oils has been our mainstay for years now and part of our values and ethos. Come see us in the office for more ideas of chemical-free cleaning.