The health crisis has changed our daily routines at home and at work. But one thing is certain – a changed lifestyle. Now that our communities are slowly re-opening and businesses are resuming, we move forward with “the new normal.” This could mean strict implementation of social distancing in public places and for some people – a longer “work-from-home” period.
In the span of few months while adapting into the community quarantine, we have altered our ways of living, and homes have become a multi-functional space for personal, family, and work responsibilities. And it goes without saying that in the face of unprecedented times, we must take extra preventive measures to help keep our families safe and healthy at home.
Now, as we embrace the new normal, what does this mean for your family at home? Here are some ways to maintain a healthy and safe environment for your loved ones:
Boost your immune system.
The immune system is our body’s first line of defense against disease-causing microorganisms. It’s inevitable especially for parents nowadays to juggle more functions simultaneously at home. Thus, the body’s immunity needs to take up a notch by maintaining a healthy balance of good nutrition and lifestyle. According to Pediatrician Dra. Gelline Suderio, “The body cannot naturally produce all the necessary vitamins and minerals. It’s essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle to boost the immune system.”
Dra. Suderio gives the following healthy-living strategies to boost the immune system especially for families with children at home: “Remember the go, grow, and glow concept. It’s important to keep a balanced diet and avoid foods rich in preservatives, additives, and sugar. Always keep yourself hydrated. And most importantly, get enough rest time and sleep at night.”
Take vitamins and supplements wisely.
According to Pediatrician Dra. Andrea Carag, “Think of your vitamin and minerals like the active ingredients in a recipe. Without these micronutrients, the immune system simply does not function properly.”
Choosing the right vitamins and supplements are important to help the body strengthen its general immune system. Dra. Suderio recommends consulting a doctor or healthcare practitioner before taking any multivitamins or food supplements. She says, “Your best source of vitamins is the food you eat, so get as many nutrients as you can from fresh and whole foods. Multivitamins will complement your diet and lifestyle.” For parents with young children at home, she says, “Nutrients that help build bones and promote brain development are especially significant in childhood.”
Keep a clean environment and maintain proper hygiene.
With the rainy season comes a lot of illnesses such as dengue, amebiasis, and respiratory diseases. Dra. Carag reminds us that to prevent these illnesses from penetrating the home, it’s important to keep our environment clean. She shares, “The rainy season is known to bring in a variety of infections because the cooler and denser air helps pathogens linger around longer. Make sure that the drinking water is clean through filtration and/or boiling and maintain a clean environment especially for children with play area at home. If children play on the floor, make sure to disinfect and their area is not stepped on by outside shoes. Have your kids avoid others who are sick and teach them proper hygiene such as washing of hands with clean soap and water.”
Dra. Suderio adds for parents with toddlers at home, “Keep the baby’s things and surroundings clean. Minimize their exposure to potential risks. Some tips may include keeping household cleaning materials out of their reach, hide small pieces of objects that they may accidentally ingest, keep sockets covered, and baby gates closed. Always keep an eye on the child if possible and be in touch with your doctor if the medical need arises.”
Be active and exercise regularly.
A single session or 30 minutes per day of moderate exercise such as yoga, brisk walking or steady cycling can give the immune system a boost. For parents with school-age children at home, Dra. Carag recommends, “Give kids a role to play in the household. For older children and teenagers, give them responsibilities that make the household safer, like disinfecting groceries, keeping stock of face masks, and soap. Have teenagers look after the younger ones by participating in their hand hygiene.”
Maintain a positive mindset.
Dra. Suderio stresses the importance of making the children feel safe at home, managing their behavior by teaching them resilience, and keeping healthy routines in check. These behaviors are handy not just now but even after the quarantine. She says, “Maximize your time with them by doing interactive and fun activities where they can learn. Do fitness activities in the morning, baking in the afternoon, cooking healthy meals for dinner. Let the kids be involved and make every moment spent with them a learning experience.”
Dra. Carag advises keeping a stress-free environment at home despite the uncertainties of the times. She shares, “Make sure that kids are not exposed to stressors. This can mean emotional stressors like anxiety or fear. Making sure that you and your children have proper emotional and mental state is helpful in boosting the body’s immunity.”
Get more tips from Dra. Carag and Dra. Suderio as they share more insights in keeping a healthy and safe home post-quarantine at PLDT Home and MommyMundo’s Facebook Live #StayHomeSeries. Tune in every 11AM on May 26 and 29 at MommyMundo’s Facebook page as Dra. Carag, Dra. Suderio, and guest moms Mikaela Lagdameo and Riki Flo discuss the pressing topics on parenting and family health concerns.
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