It’s our 10 year anniversary here in Washington DC and to celebrate we’re giving away 3 Nights of Sleep through our non-profit, Mission: Sleep. Usually Mission: Sleep provides free, overnight care to military and first responders whose babies arrive when a parent is deployed, wounded or deceased. This year we’re including frontline workers! We want to say THANK YOU to all who keep us safe and healthy…especially during the coronavirus crisis.
Mission: Sleep is the non-profit arm of Let Mommy Sleep and has been operating since 2013, with formal endorsements by then-Governor Tim Kaine (VA-D) and Delegate Richard Anderson (R-VA). Our wonderful grant partners include Giving Joy, the Ft. Belvoir Officers’ Spouses Club and 100 Women Who Care. Hear from one of our real life moms on ABC7!
If you know a doctor, nurse, grocery store staff member, military, police, firefighter or EMS worker who’s expecting or has a new baby in the DC area, nominate them now! Voting will begin Sept 7 (LABOR DAY OF COURSE) and the winner will be announced Sept 14. Free, overnight newborn care will be provided by a Let Mommy Sleep team member. Let Mommy Sleep is following strict COVID19 protocols and requires nurses and caregivers to have all vaccinations and certificates for safe sleep, newborn and postpartum care.
Before you put on a mask, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Hand sanitizer can be used if handwashing isn’t possible. When you pick up your mask, touch the sides/portion that goes around yours ears or head…not the middle.
If you’re wearing a surgical mask,note that they have a top and bottom and the top has a wire which should be pressed to form around the bridge of your nose. The same goes for commercial masks with wire on top, be sure the wire is shaped around your nose.
Never touch the inside of your mask! Once you do, that mask has been contaminated and is no longer safe to use.
Remove the mask by touching only the sides/portion that touched your ears or the back of your head.
Wash and sanitize your hands again.
Remember that your mask must cover your nose. If it’s worn below the nose it’s useless.
How do I take care of my mask?
Surgical masks:(the light blue/green ones)
meant for single use only. They are not made for multiple uses. If you must reuse it, use your clean hands to fold it so that the outside portion is exposed, and the inside is protected.
If someone coughs or sneezes around you, or you are around someone who is sick, you MUST throw away your mask. This mask is now breeding bacteria between uses.
If your mask gets wet, you must throw it away, it is no longer safe to use.
should be washed after EVERY use.
Do not put a cloth mask back on if it becomes damp or wet.
Do not wear it if you’ve been around a sick person prior to washing it.
There are many different cloth masks, but comfort and fit should be considered the most important things, since keeping the mask on and properly fitted helps keep you safe.
Remember that the gaiter type of face covering may not be useful.
Use a filter in your cloth mask if available. Many commercial masks are sold with filters but you can also use coffee filters or paper towels. These should be thrown away after each use.
This blog was written by the Nurses of Let Mommy Sleep and Infection Control Specialist Laura Hegarty-Moore, RN PHS. If you have any questions about masks, let us know on Instagram or Facebook.
COVID19 Safety Recommendations from an Infection Prevention Specialist and Public Health RN, Laura Hegarty-Moore, RN, MPH. Laura us an LMS alumnus and now works at MarinHealth Medical Center in Greenbrae, CA, working on the frontlines of the pandemic.
Cover your face in public.
First, let’s talk about masks-yes, they ARE effective! Masks, even cloth masks, are effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19. While hospital-grade masks provide some more protection, cloth masks are sufficient for your everyday encounters out in public. Studies have compared cities that used masks with ones that didn’t and the masks proved effective at curbing the spread of the coronavirus.
When should I wear a mask?In any indoor public space, when waiting in line, when getting healthcare, and outdoors if you can’t stay 6ft away from others not in your household.
When can I take off my mask? When engaged in strenuous outdoor work or recreation, when giving birth, when outdoors with those you live with as long as you maintain a 6ft. distance from others not in your household, when driving in your car alone or with those you live with, when eating or drinking, or in your house with those you live with, provided everyone is COVID-19 free. Here’s a country by country comparison of mask wearing as well, updated June 15, 2020.
Gloves and Hand Hygiene
Do not wear gloves in public. This is a big pet peeve for me! The CDC doesn’t recommend routine glove use. Wearing gloves in public actually spreads more germs around on more surfaces, increasing your risk of getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many people studied removed their gloves incorrectly or thought they didn’t need to wash their hands, causing more germs to spread. For example, while wearing gloves at a grocery store, people often touch many dirty surfaces without cleaning their hands in between. Then they reach for their phone and start typing a message. Now the phone is contaminated. The next time you put the phone to your face, it’s covered with all the germs from the grocery store! Ew!
Cleaning your hands frequently and properly is your best defense against COVID-19! Clean with either soap and water or alcohol-based hand gel. While handwashing is always preferred because it is the most powerful way to eliminate germs, sanitizer is still very effective. If you’re washing with soap and water, scrub for at least 20 seconds (hum “happy birthday” twice!) making sure to scrub all surfaces- between all your fingers and under your fingernails. If you’re using an alcohol-based hand gel, rub the product between your hands until it’s dry (no time limit on this one!) making sure again to cover all surfaces of your hands.
When should I use soap and water vs. alcohol-based hand gel? Use soap and water when your hands are visibly soiled (e.g. after gardening, playing outdoors, or cleaning up baby puke), after using the restroom, after changing a diaper, before and after preparing or eating food, and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
You can use alcohol-based hand gel any time your hands are not visibly soiled and handwashing isn’t an option, such as before and after going to the store, before and after visiting someone in the hospital, and after touching shared surfaces like computers or shopping carts.
Understand Real & Fake News; COVID19 Safety Recommendations from an Infection Prevention Specialist
Don’t spread rumors, and always check your sources. Spreading misinformation is almost as bad as spreading germs! Some good ways to know if a source is legit is to ask yourself these questions: First of all, does this information come from the CDC, the WHO, or another similar guiding organization? They combine all the research to give you the best recommendations. Next, find out- is this a study? Studies are the best source for evidence-based research, and a randomized controlled trial, or RCT, is considered the gold standard. Some click-bait headlines will claim to show you horrifying results of “a new study,” but when you click on it, there’s no real study to be found! Fake news!
Next, if it’s not a study, but an article, check out the author’s credentials. Ask yourself, is this person an expert in the field? Not all doctors specialize in infectious disease, and not all public health professionals are doctors. You want to look for credentials in Epidemiology, Public Health, and/or Infectious Disease. Also, see if there’s any potential bias. For example, if there’s an article on a new drug written by a drug company, you may want to take it with a grain of salt. Lastly, you want to ask yourself- is this material current? Information about COVID-19 has been changing rapidly and you want to make sure what you’re sharing is the most up-to-date.
Only get tested if you need to. If you have no exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 positive person and no COVID-19 symptoms, you shouldn’t get tested. Exposure is defined as spending longer than 15 minutes with someone, closer than 6ft apart, while one or both of you weren’t wearing a mask. If you meet these criteria or you’re having symptoms, consult your doctor on whether or not you should get tested.
Many people recover at home with no need to be tested and no need for medical intervention, but if you have risk factors; like you are an older adult, you’re pregnant, or you have asthma, you may want to be tested.
Remember, COVID19 is not the only illness out there and working with newborns means we have to be extra vigilant with health and safety. Here are our night nanny and nurses’ tips to stay healthy and minimize exposure to flu, virus and cold germs.
Do you have questions for Laura or our staff on keeping safe throughout the pandemic? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter using #AskLaura. We are here to help!