By Shunila Joy Chauhan
Monsoon is arguably the most awaited season. The pleasant drop in the temperature spreads a feeling of wellbeing among all living creatures. However, the monsoon also opens a Pandora’s Box of excitement and woes. As much as we love the rains for they bring everything to life; the heavy downpour can spell trouble. The cities suffer from waterlogging and several monsoon-induced illnesses. A balanced diet and well-planned schedule can go a long way while handling the tricky challenges of monsoon. Parents like to see their children happy at all times. Children often forget the simple things that can safeguard their health. Here are seven essential tips for parents and children during monsoon.
It is important to stock up on immunity-boosting food and vegetables during the monsoon. Nature provides this in the form of easily available sources that can be included in the grocery list such as honey, ginger, leaves of tulsi, beetroot, yam, sweet potato, turmeric, and lemon. You can use these local and fresh herbs, roots, and vegetables to flavour milk, tea, soups, and rice. Tulsi, ginger, and turmeric protect your body from frequent monsoon-related infections such as sniffles, sour throat, and cough. Increase your intake of vitamin C by eating food rich in Vitamin C. The best way for a trouble-free tummy is to pack home-cooked lunch for school.
You can weigh your options depending on how rainy the day is and if the shop and product are hygienically packed and served. Uncooked food items can be problematic during monsoon. Avoid eating food from street carts/vendors as monsoon increases the risk of contagious infections. Enjoy freshly cooked food to stay healthy during monsoon. Warm soups, porridge, and homemade vegetables and meat dishes are an excellent source of nutrition during monsoon.
Monsoon can be messy because of the mud, muck, and moisture. It is extremely important to ensure personal hygiene at all times. An umbrella may not be the best protection from getting wet. Get a sturdy and durable raincoat for your kids. As much as kids enjoy getting wet in the rains, it is important to remain dry to stay away from viral/bacterial infections. It is vital to look out for open or overflowing drains and avoid taking routes where one might come across them. Cut their nails, add a disinfectant to the bath water, educate them on the importance of a hand sanitiser, use a handkerchief while coughing and sneezing. Remember to wash hands and legs thoroughly with warm water after coming home to eliminate the chances of contracting dreaded diseases like leptospirosis.
The menace of mosquitoes increases exponentially during the monsoon. The trick is to manage the menace effectively. Make your home, school, and office mosquito-free. Use a mosquito repellent while stepping out. Wear proper clothing to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Educate your children about malaria and dengue. Do not store water in small or large open containers where mosquitoes can lay eggs.
A well-stocked and properly arranged pantry brings joy to the one who is in charge of cooking for the family. Make sure that you buy meat and vegetables only from clean and reliable sources and stores. Cook thoroughly to eradicate the possibility of bacteria infestation.
It is a thing of joy to attend school during monsoon. However, it is important to keep school supplies safe and dry. It is a good idea to use a waterproof school bag or purchase a bag cover. Always stock up school-related stationery to avoid getting out in heavy rains for purchasing essential items. Pack an extra pair of dry socks for school to replace wet socks.
Traffic snarls and flight delays occur frequently during the monsoon. In a region where it rains heavily, it is extremely important to check the weather and traffic conditions before stepping out. The daily commute can get seriously affected by heavy showers and waterlogging. It is important to walk carefully when it is raining heavily. Be aware of open manholes and sewage. Do not cross the road without following the traffic rules. Parents must check the weather conditions/forecast before sending children to school. Keep all the important phone numbers handy.
Monsoons can be enjoyed to the fullest with timely planning, balanced diet and personal hygiene. These practical and useful tips will help your family to enjoy a healthy and safe monsoon.
(The writer is Principal of Thakur International School – Cambridge.)