Worried about the sniffles? Feel that cold coming on? Catch your breath at every little “atishoo” you hear from your munchkin? You are not alone. Most parents want their kids to enjoy the rains but are also worried about what the damp and cold will bring. With the wet out doors and the clothes not drying, there is always the possibility of viruses and bacteria as well as allergens around.
While there is no way or need to keep kids in a bubble, there are some tips that will keep the little troops fighting fit.
Bar the entrances – So you cannot keep the bacteria out by shutting doors, but you can certainly bar the entrance. Just ensure there is a large mat at the entrance that everyone can wipe their shoes on. Rubber door mats are ideal as they can be dusted and washed as often as needed.
Better yet, ban foot wear inside at least this season. Even if you have a toddler with toys scattered, who is crawling around, the ‘no footwear’ rule will help keep it more hygienic.
Keep nails trimmed and short – Washing hands is all well and good, but what about the nails that gather dirt? Especially as kids play in the dirt? The shortest of nails can get dirt under them, and this applies not just to the kids. Adult caregivers too must keep their nails short and neatly filed so as to keep their little wards safe.
Water woes – Monsoons are all about water. They are about dirty water as well, as the drains over flow or the water get muddied. So take extra care of the water your little munchkins consume. Ideally, boil water and carry your own wherever you visit. It might seem cumbersome, but it is common sense.
Salad toss - So cooking kills bacteria and that is why we boil water. Salads may be healthy but can hold a lot of dirt and ill health if not washed thoroughly. Also when in doubt, desist. Salads can be given a toss, right off the plate for any out of home meals. Pretend salads, however, are highly recommended during play.
Home not alone – Tracking dirt into the house is a common occurrence during the monsoon. You can sweep high traffic areas more than once and swab as well to ensure the dirt does not stay inside the house. You can also clean the toddler play area more than once a day. If this feels like work, imagine the work if a little one is unwell! Do what you must, to keep away dirt and dust.
Shots in boots – Want to take a cute rain day selfie with your toddler? Pop the little ones in boots that are water proof before you take them out for longer periods. ‘No boots no go – outs’ is a good rule in the monsoon.
Hot clothes – Ok, so we do not mean hot, but make sure every evidence of dampness is removed from all the clothes your kids wear. Dryers, irons or whatever it takes to dry the toddler's clothes in the monsoons is a good idea. Dampness leads to colds and chills.
Hot food - Remember the feel of hot soup cups in your cold hands on rainy days? Soups and hot daal roti or dal rice etc are comfort foods for a reason. They keep you warm physically and also mentally fit and comfort. It helps build immunity. Consume them abundantly.
Lastly, do not worry too much. Science says children weather the seasons well. And that dirt is not always a bad thing. Just stay indoors during the worst of it and get those favorite toys and books out. Make it a wonderful playtime. You will enjoy it as much as the kids themselves.
Have a happy and flu-free monsoon!
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