When you introduce your baby to water, either to drink or to mix formula, it is essential that you use safe, clean water that has been properly treated and sterilized. This includes the water you use to sterilize baby bottles and feeding equipment.
This is because your baby is vulnerable during the first year of life to viruses, bacteria and other parasitic infections. These can come from water that is not clean and properly treated. They can lead to anything from a mild attack of thrush to the more serious condition of gastroenteritis, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration.
How can I sterilize tap water at home?
There are three ways you can sterilize tap water in your house.
The easiest and cheapest method of sterilizing water is to boil it. This is an acceptable household method of purifying water, especially untreated water or water from natural sources.
Sterilizing water at home by boiling is simple. You need to bring the water to a rolling boil and let it keep boiling for one minute to kill all water germs effectively. Cover the water and let it cool naturally at room temperature. Strain the water through a clean, thin muslin cloth to remove any dust or particles before drinking it.
Using Chlorine Tablets
You can also use chlorine tablets at home to purify water. Municipal corporations in our country use chlorine to purify water and make it safe for drinking and cooking before directing the water to households. However, it is best to boil the water first before consuming it to remove contaminants.
If you’re concerned about the purity of your water supply, install a filter on your kitchen sink tap. Many families find this the simplest way of making sure that all drinking water used in the house is fairly clean. Certain filters can remove lead and other contaminants from your water.
If you decide to buy a water filter:
- Check out the options available in your area first, to find one to suit your needs and budget.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s directions and change the filter regularly to prevent contaminants from building up.
- When you choose a water filter, pay attention to how it works. Some home filters can remove fluoride from the water. If you’re using this kind of filter, talk to your doctor or dentist.
Is bottled water safe?
Not exactly. Certain brands have been proven to be safe because of their water treatment systems, but not all bottled water can be considered safe as it is difficult to determine the level of safety and purity.
While bottled water is monitored by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), most do not contain the recommended amount of fluoride. Some may be contaminated by the chemicals in the plastic container. So it’s best to drink water that's purified at home.
Use bottled water sparingly and make sure that you choose a reputable brand. Also, check the manufacturing and best before dates. See that the seal is not broken and there is no leakage from the bottle.
Never buy bottled water from roadside vendors. There are reports which show that these bottles are filled with tap water or impure water which can cause infections in your child.
Remember to crush the bottle after every use to ensure that the same bottle is not used to store water again.