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Our bodies need water, but for many of us, we forget that not all water is created equally. Knowing what water you are drinking, and washing fruits and vegetables with when you travel is really important, especially when travelling with children. On every posting, we suffered from various  bugs and viruses, in fact, some were not so avoidable. We lived in Mexico City for 3 years, and one family member was always down with an infection at all times.

Last year, I read a recommendation of bringing a kettle when you travel, the author had used it on a Mexican resort to disinfect bottles and nipples for her baby, in her hotel room.  Her description was not very clear, and I thought it was advice that many should stay away from, depending on where you are going. Even if you are at a resort, a kettle does not sanitize nipples and bottles for infants, unless the bottles and nipples have been washed properly first, and after speaking to a local health official, breast milk and formula can grow different bacteria. Kettles were meant to heat already palatable water (and only reach a boil, it doesn’t stay at a rapid boil to kill all bacteria) for the purpose of making a drink.

I grew up with a cottage on a lake that was great for swimming, but we would never drink the water, unless you really wanted beaver fever, instead, we would boil water for about 10 minutes. In Canada many areas still work on a well water system, and boil advisories are in effect. If you have ever gone camping or have a primitive cottage, you will understand that even unboiled lake water can bring you an unpleasant illness.

So please take the time to not only read these WHO packages, but also make sure you read your federal health guidelines, depending on where you are travelling, or moving, water boiling for sterilization should be rapid boil for 5 minutes, in many cases, more. Using a kettle for disinfecting soothers, nipples and bottles in some countries would not be recommended.

http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/micro/pif_guidelines.pdf

http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/hygiene/envsan/sdwtravel.pdf

I highly recommend doing some research and trusting your own judgement. Call your local health officials, they can point you to websites and information concerning water. When it comes to disinfecting your nipples and bottles, try to boil them properly, or use a microwave, call ahead and ask the hotel what services they provide. 

Travel Lady with Baby