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How my four-year-old daughter helped with my fear of germs

My four-year-old is a beautiful mess and I will not have it any other way. Ask any mother, and this will probably be her answer. The first eight months after I had my first daughter were hell! I was obsessed with her not falling, not hitting her head, double-checking the cot to make sure she was still breathing. And don’t get me started on germs!

But while my fear was overboard, it was well-founded. Do you know how many germs we face every day? Pneumonia and diarrhoea together kill1.4 million children in the world each year. COVID is another case and deserves its post. But in my research, I stumbled on three products that promised to help. I settled for two because the last one nearly gave me an asthmatic attack. I looked at my daughter and knew I had to save myself from the growing obsession.

I had a bottle of Dettol [a][b][c][d][e][f][g]Antiseptic Liquid on my Nightstand for a month – a few drops in my bath water calmed my body and my nerves; I diluted with water and used to clean surfaces, and for mopping the floors in the house. And yes, we used a couple of drops when washing clothes. It gave me the peace of mind that I was searching for and I had no skin reactions, so that was great for me, I was sold. I am not as obsessive, but I still have my ground rule – you wash your hands EVERY TIME.

The year 2020 is a constant reminder of how much we need to wash our hands very often. So, call me a germaphobe if you wish; I am keeping my family and myself safe. And that’s all that matters.

Aduragbemi Johnson writes fiction based on true stories from her family and friends

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