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Thread: A question of hygiene::::

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    A question of hygiene::::

    especially for those shooting babies/toddlers/kids.........
    Do you provide all the props that you use? Like my flowers .....the first thing Jess did was shove em in her gob........all dribbly and baby slobbered. I admit I washed them before they came over ( they have been in the cupboard since my DD,s deb ball back in 96?) and have washed them since.....
    and those nappy covers? (not that this is going to be an ongoing thing....... I have a limited amount of quasi grandchildren ) but would you supply those things...even the cute little hats with ears? Do you just wash everything between clients? or ask them to supply thier own.
    Maybe I am a bit paranoid......but we only have books at work for the kiddies so we dont pass germs around, no plastic toys that can be chewed.......and we usually only get sick people who like to share germs.....
    cheers
    Jan

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    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
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    I have often wondered the same thing, but it isn't an issue for me, I'm allergic to kids....

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    This is quite a thought but as i don't do baby portraits i have never given it much. However lets say little Lucy with a nice Rotavirus slobbers on toys, along comes Annie picks up said toys as does Emily. 2 days later whilst in ER the mums talk and said she was fine 2 days ago having her pictures taking at your studio. Bingo- must have got it from your toys- do they sue? will your insurance cover it and lets be honest washing toys ain't going to help unless its with a hospital disinfectant. Perhaps get them to bring their own toys or have a bucket of disinfectant handy ?
    You can call me Jez

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Yep, the "prop dept." is much like the backdrop, lens, lighting and camera depts; yet another abyss to throw money into.

    Supply a few things that may work well in shoots for kiddies like blocks and so forth as well as having the parents bring along a favourite toy. Clean it all your self regularly and renew them frequently to keep the fresh look.
    Andrew
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    I wash blankets after each use. They often end up with a bit of poo/wee/spew of them during a newborn shoot. I don't have hats yet, so any that have been used, along with nappies and booties, have been provided by the parents.

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    anything that can detriorate from washing, can always be sprayed with a good dose of Glen 20, and then aired out..though it might also stop em wanting to stick em in their mouths if it tastes bad enough..and you could get some good shots of the screwed up faces of disgust along the way.
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    It was just a random thought..........after having to wash a shirt with baby spit up on it........and then the nappy cover thing........
    Ric.......I dont believe the glen20 thing..........its mostly smelly stuff and aerasol.......the best killer for germs is soap water and sunshine!
    Most germs and especially virus's are very fragile and cant live in a dry enviroment for more than a few minutes. Unfortunatly babies are not a dry enviroment........and toddlers tend to go from hand to nose to mouth to you.........
    Common household bleach ( in a 1 to 8 mix with water ) will kill hep A, B, C and HIV in a matter of moments. The bleach mix only lasts for 4 hours tho so it needs to be made up each time it is used.
    Jeeez I sound like I am at work between germs and lecturing teenagers on wearing raincoats I could get a reputation!

    I guess the renew them frequently is the way to go!

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricstew View Post
    It was just a random thought..........after having to wash a shirt with baby spit up on it........and then the nappy cover thing........
    Ric.......I dont believe the glen20 thing..........its mostly smelly stuff and aerasol.......the best killer for germs is soap water and sunshine!
    Most germs and especially virus's are very fragile and cant live in a dry enviroment for more than a few minutes. Unfortunatly babies are not a dry enviroment........and toddlers tend to go from hand to nose to mouth to you.........
    Common household bleach ( in a 1 to 8 mix with water ) will kill hep A, B, C and HIV in a matter of moments. The bleach mix only lasts for 4 hours tho so it needs to be made up each time it is used.
    Jeeez I sound like I am at work between germs and lecturing teenagers on wearing raincoats I could get a reputation!

    I guess the renew them frequently is the way to go!
    Sorry to burst your bubble, but there are some damn nasty ones out there that can survive quite well. All they need is something like a soft toy to get into, and they can survive a lot longer than a few minutes. Take the hepatitis virus, it can remain outside the body and go through a sterlising autoclave at 136 degrees, if it is protected in some way (ie two instruments are touching each other, and the virus is laying in the point of contact).

    So yes, bleach can kill a lot, but don't expect it to be your saviour. And yes, I too work in medical. my suggestion of Glen20 was for those things you cannot wash, when you don't have access to an autoclave. Glen20 contains a bleach.

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    yes in a damp enviroment it will survive......thats why we have no toys, soft, plastic or otherwise........but fabric and clothing..........this is where washing and hanging in the sun comes into it as far as I am concerned.......bleach is fine as a surface cleaner.......wiping down benches ( we leave it on for 10 minutes for blood spills and other body fluids). This is why I wondered how people handled snotty noses, wet bums etc when working with kids........

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    All I can say is what I have done over the years when dealing with bubs, kids and nakies *sheets used for modesty wraps etc....with props I supply I double up on everything mostly for convenience of washing/cleaning and drying, things that I use on a very regular basis I use to always buy 3 of so one was clean another was being used and another was drying, as soon as a sitting is over any hard toys etc are thrown in to a bucket of sanitiser and after soaking the required time they are then put on a drying rack or preferably dried in sunlight *when it is sunny, the soft toys *I do try and only buy washable ones that are relativly easy to clean and also not so dense that they take ages to dry......... nappy covers, blankets etc I put into huge lingerie bags *available from most big chain stores, they are then sanitised in the same way. I have found the lingerie bags help making the fabrics last longer, any fabrics that need ironing I steam basically because I hate to iron.....on hard surfaces after washing with hot soapy water and then using paper towel to dry down, I use a food grade sanitiser *one that is sprayed and left on.....as it is also the way I clean any larger toy/props so easier to have fewer chemical for msds *material safety data sheet, yes I do use them after having several experiences with people with quiet extreme chemical reactions plus I have only just stepped out of the dark room bought and converted to only using dslr's so its second nature to keep msds....as with anything though I am sure there are others that have a very different way of doing things so it will be interesting to how others deal with the situation
    It takes only one person to get the shot, its up to everyone else to say they could have done it better themself......at least until they try

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    Good ol' hot water, vinegar and baking soda for cleaning just about everything. Vinegar kills germs, baking soda refreshes and hot water makes the grime come off easier. Any toys should be machine washable and get enough to put on a rotation system so that if one is pukey, it can go into the wash and you've still got more (Basic Parenting 101 more than a photography tip there, hehe). I've always been of the opinion that we worry about germs and sanitise everything way too much for kids. I didn't catch any wasting diseases when I was a baby even though my mother never used Glen20 and baby wipes on everything.
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    Can't hurt to have a 'clean hands and face' policy similar to daycare centres as well as cleaning everything else. AWhen you drop your kid of at day care you have to wash their face & hands on arrival and again on departure

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    I've only done one newborn shoot and a few family portrait sessions. I simply provide a list of ideas for the shoot and get the parents to sort out the rest. As I know kids that are allergic to different types of washing detergent etc I simply choose not to take that risk.

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    As soon as the client walks out the door I start washing everything that has been used when I do newborn sessions. And let the blankets props dry in the sunshine for a while. As there are messes when the nappy comes off.
    Nina
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    As a mum.... if I was having my newborn photographed - I would assume everything was clean....

    I know in reality though that it's probably not to my standard (with a newborn that is... once they get older dirt n germs will do them good lol)

    But yes the allergy thing is an issue as well - I always wash newborn items separate to everything else and with a baby washing detergent (like lux flakes or "purity" liquid (I think that's what it's called))

    I have a newborn shoot tomorrow (first one so I am really nervous!), and have blankets and beanies but told mum to bring any toys or extra's she wants in the shots.
    Constructive Criticism always welcome - it's the only way to learn!
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