As a busy mommy always on the go, your purse or diaper tote likely resembles the magical bag Mary Poppins always carries around a bottomless pit with just about everything you could possibly imagine (as long as it actually fits). Along with the obvious essentials (wallet, keys, cell phone), here are some critical items to keep in your mommy survival kit so you’re ready to fight germs wherever you are.

1. Hand Sanitizer

While washing your hands with soap and water is the #1 way to prevent the spread of germs, applying hand sanitizer is your next best option. Keep a small, portable container of hand sanitizer in your bag for those times when soap and water are not available.

To effectively sanitize hands, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Apply the suggested amount on the label onto your child’s palms, making sure she rubs her hands together until they’re completely dry.

2. Disinfecting Wipes

From dirty, sticky toys and car seats to frequently touched surfaces, like airplane seat buckles and tray tables, and grocery cart handles, disinfecting wipes are your best friend when it comes to fighting germs on the go. Keep a travel-size pack of these handy wipes in your mommy survival kit, and maybe even a larger canister in your car so you’re ready when the next mess strikes.

3. Bandages

Let’s face it: cuts and scrapes are a part of life for curious, active youngsters. And while gravity may not always be on their side, adhesive bandages can help make those “owies” and “boo-boos” feel a little bit better, and more importantly, reduce the risk of infection.

And they don’t have to be boring! Make it fun, and let your kids pick out a pack of bandages with their favorite cartoon character on them.

To help ensure proper healing, thoroughly flush and clean the wound with mild soap and water and apply an antibiotic ointment before covering with a bandage, or carry a liquid bandage product that contains not only wound-binding substances, but an antiseptic, too.

4. Tissues

Ahh-choo! Germs can spread through the air when a sick person coughs or sneezes without covering his nose or mouth — and then the germs may be inhaled by a healthy person.

Keep a travel-size pack of tissues in your bag so little Sammy doesn’t have to sneeze into her sleeve leaving a trail of boogers and snot behind (though the sleeve is a good alternative if tissues aren’t handy).

In addition to sneezes, tissues can also be used for wiping up spilled juice, crumb-covered mouths, the inevitable tears following the “I need a nap!” tantrum — the list goes on.

 
Once you’ve stashed all these necessities into your mommy survival kit, you’ll be all set to fight germs on the go!