The Ultimate List of Do's and Don’ts to Safeguard Your Children during the Rains
Just as you know, the sun will always rise in the East, similarly, seasonal changes are something that is bound to happen. But how well your child adjusts to the sudden changes can make all the difference to whether you all end up enjoying the weather or merely surviving it.
Here are some of our favourite tips for making the most of the rainy season while keeping your child safe too.
1. Boost immunity - Get your vaccines!
The monsoon is often referred to correctly as flu (Influenza) season. This is when viruses spread quickly and affect everyone from infants to the elderly. While doctors usually recommend getting your flu shots before the rains, since February 2018, the World Health Organisation (WHO) issued an official recommendation for a quadrivalent vaccine during flu season. The quadrivalent vaccine contains four influenza virus strains (two A subtypes and two B subtypes — H1N1 and H3N2, and Victoria and Yamagata respectively). Taking your annual flu shot should be as important to you as looking both ways before crossing the road.
But protection only begins here. There are several air/water and vector-borne diseases that are vaccine-preventable as well. Talk to your GP or Paediatrician about which ones they suggest you and your children should get. This small step can go a long way to control the spread of viruses in your home and area and ensure you go through the monsoon, illness free.
2. Make home a safe zone.
You can’t control the outdoors or the weather. What you can do though, is make sure your indoor areas are buffers against everything from the damp to insects and your cupboards are stocked with spares for a rainy day. Spare socks and slippers, disinfectant to wash hands and feet when you come in from the rain, a stash of fun indoor games and a single drop off zone for all wet items can be a huge plus.
Employ a regular pest control service, have any stagnant water around your home checked for mosquitoes and other insects. Cover open food and fruits, use a mosquito net over cribs or beds and seal open windows with mesh that allows airflow but keeps the bugs out. Avoid mosquito coils and try over-clothing patches and sprays instead. Better yet grow natural insect repellent plants like Citronella Marigolds, Basil, Peppermint and Garlic in window boxes or on your balcony.
3. Menu matters.
Your immune system is your best bet against getting sick, so eating nutritious food balanced with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables is key to helping your body fight off infections. Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating, check and throw away mouldy food, drink only boiled or purified water and give your fridge a deep clean.
Avoid eating outside food, especially when you cannot be sure of the level of cleanliness and hygiene during food preparation. Having said that, there’s no reason you can’t get creative with home food. Prepare healthy versions of your favourite street food, bake healthy cakes and cookies and or even plan an indoor picnic. There are a thousand ways to make food fun.
4. Avoid getting soaked - Set limits!
Every puddle on the way to school and back or on the playground is potential for some ‘splish splash’ action. Choose boots or wellies that keep kids feet dry, teach them to watch for polluted water, sewerage and more importantly, allow them to splash around in some shallow puddles of safe water when you can supervise.
When it comes to rain gear - pick high quality and easy to use raincoats or umbrellas and ensure you ALWAYS carry them with you. Given the pollution in the air and general state of unhygienic surroundings that we can’t escape, getting stuck in a surprise shower isn’t the best thing for any child’s developing immune system.
Wherever you live, you are now equipped with some great tips and advice to make the rainy season safe and fun for yourself and your family.