Prone positioning is used as a rescue therapy to increase the oxygen level in body when mechanical ventilation or an external source of oxygen is not. Read the blog for more understanding.

“Sanjeevani for Covid Patients” – Step by Step process explained to Do-it-Yourself

Increase Your Oxygen Levels Naturally

The unprecedented spread of Novel coronavirus has caused the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV-2) worldwide. More and more people are suffering from acute oxygen crisis leading to the need for emergency ventilation. However, even after a year into Covid-19, medical oxygen scarcity is still costing lives. Spontaneous breathing is possible without ventilator support. It is known as unassisted spontaneous breathing. But is self-ventilation possible? Yes, an SOS technique, prone positioning helps in self-ventilation when a person suffers from severe breathlessness with dwindling oxygen saturation levels. It allows more oxygen to reach the lungs and reduces the blood’s tension due to an oxygen crisis.

The normal level of oxygen in blood should be 95% partial pressure of oxygen or more.

What is the normal oxygen level in blood?

The normal level of oxygen in blood should be 95% partial pressure of oxygen or more1. Individuals with sleep apnea or chronic lung disease can have normal oxygen levels around 90% partial pressure of oxygen. If your partial pressure reading of oxygen is lower than 95%, you require health care assistance. A pulse oximeter is a device that is used to check the oxygen levels in the body. It is a clip-like device that you can use at home to detect the oxygen levels in your body.

The virus affects the human lungs leaving them incapable of performing the gaseous transport at its maximum potential.

How does Covid-19 affect the oxygen levels in the body?

The working mechanism of the novel coronavirus is still under rigorous research. One of the biggest mysteries related to the virus is that it causes ‘silent hypoxia2.’ It is a condition in which the circulating oxygen levels in the blood decreases, which can irreparably damage vital organs of the body. It can be life-threatening if gone undetected for a long time. The term silent is used because there are no signs of breathlessness or hypoxia in many covid-19 affected individuals. The virus affects the human lungs leaving them incapable of performing the gaseous transport at its maximum potential. The tissues of the lungs get damaged due to the virus, lose oxygen and stop working. They no longer infuse the blood with oxygen. It causes the oxygen levels in the body to drop gradually.

Proning has become a regular part of the treatment protocols for coronavirus. Know what is proning?

What is ‘Proning?’

Proning is a technique in which patients with respiratory distress are placed on their stomach with care and made to breathe. Lying down in your stomach for around 40 minutes can help naturally self-ventilate with an efficiency of up to 80%3. Proning has become a regular part of the treatment protocols for coronavirus. Accessibility of oxygen has become vitally important. The world is striving to meet the needs of medical oxygen. In this kind of situation, we can acclimatize ourselves to self-ventilate in case of emergency. Proning is such a way to naturally self-ventilate yourself.

Why proning is important for a patient?

Why prone a patient?

Prone positioning affects the distribution of air inside the lungs. It affects the enlargement or collapse of alveoli, which allows oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood. It is detrimental to underlying pulmonary function for mechanical ventilation. Proning provides better ventilation to the dorsal lungs threatened by alveolar collapse. It has proven to improve mortality. It creates a distribution of ventilator volumes and pressure throughout the lungs. ARDS causes the accumulation of water in the lower part of the lungs. When you are lying on your back, blood reaches the lower parts of the lungs, but there is a problem in gaseous exchange due to the water deposition. It causes trouble in the oxygenation and removal of carbon dioxide. Reports from the US, China, France, and Italy, which included both case series and retrospective analysis, have proved that Proning can help Covid-associated ARDS. It keeps the alveolar spaces open. In its guidelines for the clinical management of critical covid-19 affected individuals, the Union Health Ministry suggested that in patients with severe ARDS, prone ventilation for more than 12 hours per day is required.

Understand the need for prone position.

What do you need for proning?

Requisites for Proning4 are very basic. All you need is four to five pillows. One pillow has to be placed below the neck, one or two pillows below the chest through the upper thighs, and two pillows below the legs. It would be best to change the lying position every thirty minutes from lying on the belly to laying on each side. Then again, sit up before lying in the supine position again (on your belly).

A step-by-step guide to prone position breathing at home.

A step-by-step guide to personal breathing at home

  • Place one pillow below the neck, one or two pillows below the chest through the upper thighs, and two pillows below the legs.
  • Lay down for 30 minutes to 2 hours on your belly.
  • Lay on your right side for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  • Sit up and rest for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  • Again lay on your left side for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  • Then back to the position – lying on your belly.
In what conditions one must not practice proning?

When should one not practice proning?

One should not practice proning in the following conditions:

  • Pregnancy
  • Deep venous thrombosis
  • Major cardiac conditions
  • Unstable spine, femur, or pelvic fractures
  • Morbid obesity5 Seizure disorders
  • Facial injuries

Things to be kept in mind while proning

There are a few things that you should keep in mind related to proning:

  • Proning should not be done at least for one hour of meals.
  • Do it till it feels tolerable.
  • One can prone up to 16 hours in different cycles.
  • Keep track of injuries and pressure on your body during proning.
  • Adjust pillows to alter pressure areas.
A five-step process to place a patient in the prone position in the case of emergency.

Non-self-pronating patients (in an emergency)

Here is a five-step process to place a patient in the prone position in the case of emergency using a bed and flat sheet, by the family members:

  • Use the flat sheet to pull the patient to one side of the bed.
  • Place the flat sheet around the arm that will pull through as you are turning the patient.
  • Use a second flat sheet on the bed and tuck under the patient, which you can pull when turning the patient.
  • Place a sheet below the patient, turn him/her over, and place him/her in a supine position (on his/her stomach).
  • Straighten the limbs of the patient and let the patient breathe. Try changing the position of the patient every thirty minutes.

Covid patients under home quarantine and facing breathing issues are advised to follow this process of personal breathing. It is used as a rescue therapy to increase the oxygen level in the body when mechanical ventilation or an external source of oxygen is not available. Specialists in the medical system have termed personal breathing as the ‘Sanjeevani’ for covid patients. Prone positioning will be improving your oxygen levels in 40 minutes. This positioning should be practised every 6-8 hours for 40 minutes to extract optimum benefits. If a patient has no secondary infections and only their lungs are affected, proning or prone ventilation can save them.

We are going through unprecedented times. Let’s keep faith in science and yoga. If we mask up properly and take other precautions we hope to sail through this crisis. Keep an oximeter handy. Whenever you find the reading going below the optimum levels, try proning. Advised by doctors and health professionals this technique is surely going to help you in a significant way.

Winter and pandemic are not going to make the best pair. So, protect your family this winter during a pandemic with 15 simple tips.

Protect your Family this winter during the Pandemic: 15 Simple Tips

Winter is approaching. There is the much-awaited nip in the air but this year, it is a bit different. Winters are associated usually with cough, cold, sore throat and sometimes fever; but this year, our minds are occupied with the thought – “What if it is Coronavirus…?” It is extremely important that we take precautionary measures to protect ourselves and our families during this weather change amidst the pandemic of Covid-19. A few precautionary measures will be beneficial for maintaining good health during this pandemic. Apart from the basic protocols of Covid-19, we must add a few more regular habits to our daily life to ensure the safety of our family.

Here are a few tips to protect your family and household during winters from the Covid-19 infection:

One of the most basic safety and precautionary steps to stop the spread of Covid-19 is to stay indoors.

1. Stay Indoors

One of the most basic safety and precautionary steps to stop the spread of Covid-19 is to stay indoors. Do not go out unnecessarily. Outside, the temperatures will be low compared to indoors. Cold wind blowing during the months of December and January may lead to you catching a cold and fever. In a warm country like India, a lot of people are highly susceptible to cold weather. Catching a cold unnecessarily should be avoided. In case you are going outdoors, make sure you are wearing adequate warm clothes and a two or three-ply MASK – properly! And as soon as you reach home, sanitize yourself and your belongings.

Try to avoid public transport as much as possible.

2. More Safety Rules When Out

Try to avoid public transport as much as possible. Walk or cycle short distances as that will keep you healthy and fit as well. As far as winter protection is concerned, cover your head and throat with a scarf as that cuts off on exposure to cold air. You may find yourself excuses for not wearing warm clothes as the temperature in most parts of India is, usually, moderately less cold. But this year, take no chances. If you catch even common flu that may make you extra susceptible to Coronavirus infection.

Make it mandatory to maintain a distance of at least 5-6 feet in a public place.

3. Maintain Social Distancing Protocols

Make it mandatory to maintain a distance of at least 5-6 feet in a public place. Even while receiving online packages at home, maintain proper social distance with the delivery agent. Try making cashless payments to avoid contact with anyone. Sanitize parcels which reach your home. If anyone comes to your home from outside, insist that they wash their hands and sanitize first. They should also sanitize their belongings, if any.

Clean Surface to have a sanitized home.

4. Keep Surface Clean

This is basically a part of homecare only; in fact, a crucial one, for, surfaces act as the main bearer of germs and droplets. Depending upon the surface type, dust, vacuum clean or wash and then sanitize it properly to keep 99% of germs away. This should be done daily. Not sure why sanitization is necessary? Read this1.

5. Develop Good Eating Habits

Good eating habits are a must for boosting your immunity.

Good eating habits are a must for boosting your immunity. Eat a lot of healthy vegetables and seasonal fruits. Drink sufficient quantities of water and juices. Make sure the meals are properly balanced. Adequate protein intake should be emphasized. Try cutting down on processed, high salt content and high sugar content food. Plan your diet mostly on good fats, lean proteins, whole grains, vegetable and fruits. Try to take in food rich in vitamin C and anti-oxidants as they are proven immunity boosters. Magnesium-rich foods like legumes, nuts, whole grains, and leafy vegetables will help reduce stress and you will feel calmer. Food rich in zinc like egg yolk, meat, mussels, etc is known to have virus-fighting properties. Spices are known to increase immunity power as well.

For your health, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day.

6. Do Some Form of Physical Exercise Daily

Join a gym, go cycling with your gears on; if that is not possible, do some freehand exercise or practise some simple yoga postures at home. You should also take a brisk walk for 30 minutes daily. Stretch, twist, turn – do whatever that relaxes your body and mind. Just remember – you have to increase your mobility and keep your immune system alert and ready to combat any microbial infection.

Play indoor games to ensure stress-free mind.

7. Focus on Mental Health

Ever since the pandemic started, people are locked up in their homes. Though the ‘unlock’ procedure has begun, people are still largely at home because schools and colleges are operating in the online mode, many offices are asking their employees to continue working remotely. This can not only be boring but extremely exhausting for your mental health. Make sure that your family members are not unhappy or stressed. Plan out activities at home. Be extra careful with children, teenager and the old ones. Make sure that they are getting enough care and time. Play indoor games like chess, ludo, etc. Lawns and courtyards could be used for playing games like badminton, tennis, cricket etc.

Kadha is a herbal concoction that may help increase the immunity of your body.

8. Boost Your Immune System With Home Remedies

The internet is flooded with home remedies that would boost up your immunity. Try some of the logical ones to strengthen your immune power. Get some sun. Basking in the winter sun is one of the best things about winters in India. This would increase the production of vitamin D in your body which in turn increases the immunity of your body. Add turmeric to your curries, milk and meat. Turmeric is known to possess anti-inflammatory properties which will keep you strong and will help fight any normal flu or cold.

Another wonder drink that you must include in your daily diet is ‘Kadha.’ It is nothing but a powerful concoction of raw haldi(the turmeric stem), black pepper, ginger, clove, and honey – all added to water, boiled and strained and sipped slowly while still hot.

Avoid the vacation this winter to keep yourself safe from pandemic.

9. Try Avoiding Vacations

Usually, during winters the tourist activities increase manifold but skipping vacation for a year will not cause you any harm. It is absolutely not safe to travel large distances during the pandemic. It is advisable to find other recreational alternatives instead of venturing out for a vacation. Vacations are associated with interaction with a lot of unknown individuals which might be a threat during the pandemic. We can possibly hope that the vaccines soon arrive and you can then venture out for long lazy vacations.

Get enough sleep as it is extremely important for health.

10. Get Enough Sleep

It is extremely important that one gets enough sleep. It is extremely important for your health. Weak health and the immune system are more prone to virus attack. Get enough sleep so that you are fresh and active throughout the day.

When you wash your hair, make sure you dry your hair properly.

11. Dry Your Hair

When you wash your hair, make sure you dry your hair properly – either using a towel or with the help of a hairdryer. Wet hair and scalp can cause you cough and cold. It is better to avoid any activity which will cause you to cough.

Do not walk barefoot on the ground during winters.

12. Do Not Walk Barefoot

Do not walk barefoot on the ground. During winter the ground gets extremely cold which can be harmful to your health. Feet are also exposed to bacteria and fungi which can cause harmful diseases. Kids should be restricted from playing in the garden or lawn bare feet.

13. In Case Of Cold, Cough Or Fever, Isolate Yourself

In case of cold, cough and fever immediately isolate yourself. Follow the same for other members of the house. Make sure the sick person’s belongings do not come in contact with a healthy member. The sick person’s body fluids should be strictly avoided. If the cold, cough or fever persists. the person should get themselves tested immediately. Thereafter the rules and procedures as issued by the government should be followed.

Take care of your home this Winter to keep yourself safe. Make sure you are ventilating your home well.

14. Take Care of Your Home – Ventilate It Properly

Your home should be your haven of safety, good health and happiness. And that starts with making the place airy and full of sunshine and good vibes. Make sure you are ventilating your home well. This will improve air circulation in the house. Let the winter sun not only peep through your blinds but also flood your rooms; keep them warm and fresh all the time. There are a few things that you should know about ventilating air-conditioned spaces2. Follow the tips and stay as safe as possible during this pandemic.

Moreover, there are a thousand ways to give your home a ‘green makeover.’ Explore the ideas and make your home environmental-friendly this winter.

If you have been noticing any damp areas or other signs of moisture in your home, find the source and repair it fast. Dampness worsens interior air quality by acting as catalysts to microbial growth. Result? – Allergic sneezing, runny nose, redness of the eye and so on. With the pandemic fear still looming large, it will be unwise to take chances with the health of your family members.

The home also needs special care in winter because a gap here in the balcony door frame and a loose window lock there may let in cold air at night making you fall sick. Get all these small defects examined thoroughly by a professional and repair them without delay. Warm winter evenings are better spent at home with a coffee mug and a good book in hand, not with a thermometer under your tongue!

If any family member is coming home after a long time from a distant location make sure that he or she is compulsorily quarantining.

15. Mandatory Quarantining

If any of your family members are coming home after a long time from a distant location make sure that he or she is compulsorily quarantining for 10-14 days. Any symptoms which might be associated with Covid-19 should be immediately bought to the notice of the authorities. Keep their laundry, food and dishes separate from the rest of the family members. They should also ideally use a separate bathroom/toilet while on isolation. Follow the guidelines for home-based care of Novel Coronavirus patients3 set by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to manage the disease effectively at home.

The Covid-19 pandemic is serious. It has taught us the lesson that our health should be our top priority come what may. During these challenging times, it is extremely important that we keep the calm of our minds. We should categorically avoid 3 C’s – Closed (space), Crowd, and Close Contacts. Keeping ourselves and our families safe should be prioritised. And as they say – all good things like charity must begin at home. Follow these simple tips to improve the health of your family and stick to the Covid-19 safety protocols to have a safe and happy winter ahead.

Know the Hygiene Hotspots in your Home

We may do a good job of keeping our Homes cleaned and sanitized, yet there are spots that often get overlooked and neglected. There are many corners in your house that need more than just simple cleaning. Make sure you reach all those hygiene hotspots around your home and sanitize them thoroughly. You may not know but germs must be lurking around to make life miserable for you and your family. Do not take chances because hygiene is crucial. Read on to know which are the hygiene hotspots in your home and how best you can sanitize those spots.

What is washing and sanitizing?

Washing is a mere cleaning of the surface. While you wash your countertop in the kitchen or the floor in the bathroom, you just get rid of food particles, soil, dust, and other such unwanted elements. Some amounts of bacteria also get washed away in the process but not all. You can wash a surface using simple soapy water, vinegar mixed in water, or any of the branded cleaning products available in the market. But sanitization is not just a removal of dirt, grease, and food debris from a surface. There are bacteria and other pathogens on the surface. You cannot see them with the naked eye. Sanitizing kills those germs and makes the surface completely contamination-free. For hygiene hotspots in a home, washing alone is not enough; following up with proper sanitization at regular intervals is also important.

Which are the hygiene hotspots at your home?

To keep home healthy for the family, it is important to maintain good hygiene. This means is to do all you can to prevent your home environment from becoming a breeding ground for disease-causing germs.So, have a look at the following spots in your home.

1. Kitchen countertop and sink

Food, dust, bacteria, and liquid spills- you name it and you have it on your kitchen countertop. Raw meat, fish, green vegetables everything is on it. You wash all of them in your sink too. The food particles are left to sit in there and give rise to health risks. Thus, a range of microbes can be present here. The same stands true for the cutting board too. A mix of fruits &vegetables, meat, fish in raw form increases the chances of contamination.

2. Washcloth and sponges

They do not occupy a large part of your mind when you set to sanitize your home. But trust us, a lot of dirt is left behind in them even after cleaning. These remain damp and wet. Now, bacteria grows well in a moist environment. Your washcloth and sponges are a warm abode of them. Using the same sponge for months? You are only spreading the bacteria all over the home.

3. Kitchen and bathroom faucets

The taps and other faucets in both the kitchen and the bathroom get dirty and contaminated easily. Very often you touch these objects with dirty hands. When someone else puts their hands on them they automatically get infected.

4. Knobs, handles, and switches

Handles of doors and kitchen cabinets, doorknobs, switches, and toilet flush buttons are smaller surfaces. But they pack a lot of punch in terms of germs. Many users are handling them daily. Contamination risks are high too.

5. TV remote, Telephone handset, Kids’ toys

Being handled by multiple users, even during snacking, the TV remote is home to multiple pathogenic bacteria causing pneumonia, diarrhoea, skin infections, etc.

Telephone handset & mobile phones are also one of the germspot. As mobile phone is a device that is with you almost all the time, and everywhere carries many germs on its surface at any given point of time.

Kids’ toys, when playing outside, become dirty. Kids may sneeze on the toys and put it in the mouth the next moment. Contamination all over!

6. Floor carpet

A Carpet usually carry a lot of dust which is not so good especially for people with dust allergies. These can collect dust, germs and indoor allergens such as house dust mite debris, pet hair etc.

7. Inside the refrigerator and micro oven

Proper cleaning of the refrigerator is vitally important, though is often overlooked and viewed as “too hard”. Did you know that dirty fridges can act as a breeding ground for harmful bacteria such as salmonella, listeria and E. coli?

Microwave ovens also attract germs on a regular basis. Foods are taken in and out of these appliances randomly. This makes them breeding ground for bacteria and other germs.

8. Kitchen Cabinets

It is not only the cabinet handles that you should worry about. The doors of the cabinet and the insides are equally important hygiene hotspots. Can you guarantee that you always wipe your washed utensils dry before keeping them inside the cabinets? You can’t. And the locked moisture inside gives rise to bacteria and other pathogens. Very often you might touch the cabinets and the insides even after handling raw food items direct from the market. That way, you give an entry pass to the germs.

Kitchen cabinets are also favourite hiding places of pests, especially roaches and ants. To eliminate them, you must get a pest control service1 done regularly.

9. Toilet Seat, Cover& others

Yes, the seats and covers carry innumerable germs for obvious reasons! Touched by multiple users, incidents of backsplash, etc invite germs in and make these surfaces hygiene hotspots. Flush handle2 is also a germ spot which is a common touch point in your home.

10. Trash bin

During the whole day, you touch the trash bin umpteen number of times and do not always wash your hand before moving on to other chores. Hygiene hotspot indeed!

Apart from this, damp corners of your home3 can also be a hygiene hotspot.

How to sanitize these hygiene hotspots?

Firstly, wash surfaces with soap and warm, clean water to remove dirt and debris. Next, sanitize surfaces with household bleach. To know more, click here4.

It is preferable that you should use different cutting boards for different items. Do not use the same cutting board for vegetables and non-veg items. Every time after use make sure you wash it with soap or detergent and water to get rid of the germs left behind.

Soak washcloth and sponges in lemon juice or white vinegar. Dry wet sponge thoroughly in the sun. Do not use the same cloth or sponge for more than a month.

Wash your hands well with soap after coming back home and then only handle the switches, doorknobs, kitchen utensils, TV remote, etc. For sanitizing these smaller surfaces you can always use all-purpose cleaner and wipe them with a microfiber cloth. Repeat this at least twice a week.

In this current situation, you can also opt for steam cleaning service5 which is safe and eco-friendly method of sanitization.

Additionally, close the toilet cover while flushing to prevent backsplash. Make sure you clean cover and the seat altogether before leaving the washroom.

After emptying your trash bin, wash the inside of it using soapy water and a brush.

If you choose to use any sanitizer or disinfectant, read safety rules6 & basics.

Lastly,don’t forget to wash and sanitize your hands.

To reduce the chances of contamination, you must wash and sanitize your hands7 frequently even while staying at home.

So this, in a nutshell, is how you take care of the hygiene hotspots scattered across your home. Sanitizing home8 is a difficult task. But it can never be ignored. With proper sanitization, you are 100% sure about putting a stop to the spread of germs.

Hygiene Caution: Check Before You Eat Outside

Who doesn’t love the aroma of freshly fried samosas on a rain-soaked afternoon? Don’t you just look forward to dining out on your special days? And what about the takeaway that you frequent on weekdays while returning home from work? Saves you the hassle of cooking, right? To be very frank, we are a generation which depends a lot on foods bought from outside. But are we aware of the health hazards that we are inviting to our life? Do we follow all the basic healthy rules while eating out?

Let’s get a reality check.

  • Who washes hands outside?
  • How clean is the eating place?
  • How is the food?
  • Do we get to know how many times the same cooking oil has been used for frying?
  • What is the source of water?

Do we care to do and/or check these things while buying food from outside? If ‘yes’ then how often? And if your answer is a scary ‘No’ then here is a list of cautions that you must pay attention to:

Wash your hands before eating food outside

Most of us don’t, do we? When is the last time you washed hands before putting that paanipuri or phuchkas inside your mouth? Did you go to the restaurant washroom and washed your hands before plunging into the Biriyani? Well, we rarely forget to take a snap of the food and post it immediately on Instagram, but the same doesn’t stand true for a simple and most basic healthy habit – washing your hand.

Do wash your hands thoroughly or use an alcohol-based hand rub to sanitize your hands before eating. When you eat washing your hands1, the bacteria and germs that are left on your fingers and palms can be transferred to the inside of your mouth. This can cause illnesses and infections. When you put your hands on those surfaces, the virus gets transmitted to your body and enters the respiratory tract causing mild to severe illness.

Check the cleanliness of the eating place

When hunger gets the better of you, you do not really care where the outlet you are buying the chaat or phuchka from is situated. Roadside shops are often located just beside big uncovered bins. On a rainy day you will even find the fast food outlets’ floors all muddy and stained. These are never the places that we should collect our foods from. But then again, what if the front is neat and clean and behind the kitchen door, it’s nothing short of hell? Do your brief research and then only gorge on the plate. After all, it’s your health that will be at stake.

Check what you are eating?

Tasty and delicious of course! – But what about its quality? Most of the restaurants heat and reheat a pre-prepared food and serve it to you as you place your order. It is true that heating kills a lot of germs but consecutive heating and cooling and reheating make the matter worse. Be it a fast food outlet or a posh restaurant, reheating is the major cooking process. Ever thought how many pathogenic germs are making an entry into your guts day in and day out?

Is there a way to avoid such food and still deal with your hunger pangs when you are outside?

Well, just be cautious about what you are ordering. Occasional binging on rolls, phuchkas, ghugnis, and chaats is okay but ideally, you should always try to hop by a cafe or restaurant that has proper kitchen setup and order for food like fresh salads and sandwiches with your choice of veggies and cheese. They are, by far, the safest fast food items to eat. You can also try grilled delicacies as they do not require reheating or oil to prepare.

Be careful about the source of water?

Even if we overlook the hazardous substances present in food and have our fingers crossed thinking that cooking kills pathogens, the problem does not end there. What about the water served to you? Where from did it come? If it is not from a sealed bottle, can you vouch for its purity? You can’t. So, carry your own bottle if you are not dining at a proper restaurant that is expected to have a water purifier installed in its kitchen.

Now you may ask that it has been so long that you are having food from outside and you do not experience any distress. Really? Don’t you? Let us correct you and say that you do, but you are not aware of it.

Health hazards and diseases caused by unhealthy eating habits

  • Obesity: Outside food, be it the street food or restaurant-bought or simple fast foods, are always high in carbohydrates and Trans fats. The starchy, complex carbohydrates make you gain weight while fat gets concentrated in the belly and hip regions. A silent killer, this obesity, will grow slowly but steadily and one fine morning, you find your dresses aren’t fitting you anymore. This particular disease makes way for other disorders like cardiac problems, diabetes and so on.
  • Hypertension: With the high-energy density as contributed by the high amount of sugar and fat present in junk food, blood pressure rises and hypertension sets in. Type II diabetes also sets in.
  • Undefined diarrhoea: The unhygienic procedure and surroundings the food is prepared in gives rise to bacteria and protozoa in the food, which, when consumed, can lead to stomach upset and diarrhoeal disorder in human body.
  • Food poisoning: With all the toxic substances in the food present, poisoning “to bantahai”. Manifested in the form of vomiting, nausea, weakness, loose motion, headache – food poisoning is quite common when you are a regular buyer and consumer of food from outside.

These are just the tip of the iceberg. These diseases might be communicable or non-communicable. Heightened levels of cholesterol in blood, increased amount of glucose, and cardiovascular risk are a few of the long list of diseases that will eventually spread inside you.

Does that mean you should stop eating food from outside? Well, certainly not. See to it if you can control the urge of eating food outside. Besides, take the following measures:

A Quick Recap

  • Wash your hand or carry a sanitizer with you whenever you have plans of consuming outside food (irrespective of the food)
  • Only choose shops and outlets with neat and clean surroundings
  • Check if the food feels cold inside and hot outside. This indicates incomplete heating. Ask for thorough heating. It’s better to have it late than unhealthy.
  • Make sure you order sealed bottle of mineral water when eating outside. Even better, always carry sufficient water with you.
  • It is not really possible to give a visit to the kitchen from where your food is coming out prepared. A lot of outlets offer the opportunity of experiencing live kitchen. It will be wise to choose them.
  • Why not bring yourself up to cooking and prepare little something (at least every alternate day) for yourself instead of relying on outside foods everyday? – Saves you money and makes you learn a skill!

Apart from this, If you are fond of eating street food then you can also read some tips for eating street food in India2 and avoid sickness.

Here’s a pro-tip on how to keep your home kitchen clean and germ-free.

Washing hands time and again and whenever handling food items is certainly one way to prevent its contamination. Consume thoroughly cooked food which has been heated at high temperature for at least 30 minutes or more.

Eat healthy and stay healthy keeping contamination at bay. Outside foods have their own taste and flavour which may be homemade food cannot match. Just be a little on the safe side and choose wisely before satisfying your tummy with junk food.

10 Hacks to Make Living Alone Easier for Old Parents

When parents get old, they become somehow dependent on their grown-up kids. Their physical and emotional well-being becomes a serious concern for their children, and taking care of them turns into a round-the-clock duty regardless of whether they stay with them or alone in a separate establishment. Now, it’s an obvious thing that elderly parent care cannot be completely stated. It differs depending on the general health, personal discretion, and available support system at home for the concerned seniors. However, the biggest concern is when they are left alone or unattended at home.

For ensuring safety of the seniors, we can make some arrangements at home so that their living alone becomes easier. Implementing these hacks will help us to trim down the chances of mishaps.

If you are one of those who have aged parents staying alone at home, you can use the checklist suggested here to assess the environment. Also, you can take other necessary steps to make it safer for your old parents.

1. A useful “to do” list to prevent falls

Seniors mostly suffer from balance and reflex problems. As a result, fall-off risk for them becomes a major concern. Making the home fall-safe is the best way to avoid any such accidents. You can try a few safety tricks:

  • Keep the floor free from clutter.
  • Discard the furniture that occupies a large amount of space on the floor.
  • Arrange non-slip footwear for your parents.
  • Don’t use extension cords across the floor.
  • Restrict the use of throw rugs on the floor.
  • Check if the floor tiles are too slippery and find out the reason why they are so.
  • Check for any leakage in the basin areas of the living room or kitchen. Get them repaired soon to avoid unnecessary flooding.

It is always desirable that our parents do not have to climb stairs to get some fresh air. They should have the privilege to enjoy nature in their balcony or lawn garden. If that is not feasible in your case then make sure the staircase has strong handrails to give support.

2. Keep emergency numbers reachable

Keep the mobile phones of your parents up to date in terms of saving the phone numbers, whom they should call in case there is an emergency in your absence, and that they never run out of balance. These numbers must include the contacts of the local police station, electric supply call centre, doctor’s number, phone numbers of the nearby home delivery food centres and similar other utility service providers including yours in the emergency dial list.

Arrange for them in an easy-to-operate basic mobile phone that they can handle easily. The handsets must be sturdy as well as offer longer battery standby time.

3. Maintain fire safety measures

A fire accident can cause severe disorder at home and it is highly traumatic, especially, for the seniors. Some of the prevention you must ensure are:

  • Use appliances with the best safety features. Get the servicing of AC machines, geysers, kitchen appliances, etc. done by authorized service centres at regular intervals. That will help you stay worry-free about their optimum functionalities.
  • If possible, install a fire alarm, where the smoke detector will keep your parents and the immediate neighbours alert.

4. Take care of the bathroom

A slippery and difficult-to-access bathroom is a real-life hazard for senior people. If you want to minimize the bathroom hazard for your aged parents, few safety measures will surely work.

  • Use non-slippery marble/ tile flooring.
  • Install grab rail beside the toilet seat and near the shower so that the users can maintain their balance better.
  • An exhaust fan or dehumidifier will help keep the bathroom floor dry.

Again, check for any leakage in the plumbing line to avoid constant dripping of water from taps and resultant flooding of the bathroom floor.

5. Take care of the bedroom

You may not have the idea that in your absence, your parents spend major time in taking rest or enjoying napping. Therefore, you must make their bedrooms safe enough. Some of the suggestions are:

  • Change the soft mattress into a hard one on bed. This will help in managing their joint pain.
  • Install a night bulb in the bedroom. Some good bedroom lighting options are wireless motion sensing lights, touch lamps, automatic night lights, etc. For advanced lighting solutions, click here1.

6. Arrange lights for safer movement at night

The arrangement of lights is important for the easy and safe movement of the seniors inside the home, especially at night. Check these points:

  • Use bright lights, because your parents may not have a bright vision.
  • Always stay alert for the lights in the rooms of the seniors. If you have a care taker for them, then get batteries and bulbs checked at regular intervals. If any of the bulbs or tube lights are not working properly, get it changed immediately. Trying to light a bulb and failing to do so might make them nervous. They may also collide against a wall and hurt themselves.
  • Preferably make them two-way switch arrangements.

Additionally, if possible install a high-capacity inverter as a backup plan for power cut.

7. Modify the kitchen

In the kitchen, keep things within the reach of the elderly people. Some of the suggestions are:

  • Keep hazardous materials away from general access.
  • Arrange for a microwave oven for heating foods. The use of a gas oven may not be safe for your aged parents.
  • Install easy-to-operate faucets in the kitchen so that they can open and close the taps without putting too much effort into it even in your absence.
  • Keep adequate storage of foods and that too within easy access; aged people may feel the urge of having foods/ snacks in odd hours.
  • Check & Discard food items with an expired date, at least, once in a month.

8. Take care of the overall safety

This is crucial for stay-alone seniors. The main entrance should be absolutely secured, preferably with a double guard system in the form of a collapsible or grill gate fitted outside the wooden door. The lock system, the eye-hole everything should be in place and functional. Please click click to get more useful tips on safety enhancement at home.

9. Ensure electrical safety

Electrocution can be another dreadful accident. Keep your aged parents safe by following these electrical safety suggestions:

  • Check for any fault in the concealed electrical wiring system, switches, and fuses. How do you do that? Hire a professional electrical inspection company. They will warn you if something is wrong in the line.
  • Always use shockproof fixtures.
  • A damp house welcomes a myriad problems. Dampness near a switchboard or big electrical appliances can be a major source of accident. So, get your homes inspected and find a solution for damp.

10. Keep communication

Regardless of your frequency to return home, call your parents at least 2-3 times a day. Also, always attend their calls as a priority no matter how busy you are. It is advisable to keep handy the phone numbers of their nearest neighbour, a caregiver at home, or the security person of the building.

Also, make a few habits like

  • Taking care for their banking needs.
  • Taking regular care for their laundry so that they can feel relaxed.
  • Explaining them about the recent scams possible on the phone: once they will get to know the problems, they will not respond to any scam call.
  • If you have any outside assignments, communicate with them frequently so that they stay emotionally pacified and worry-free.
  • Arrange for their regular health check-ups so that your parents stay fit.

Check the availability of their regular medicines at home and keep a first-aid box ready with SOS medications.

Well, these are a few 10 hacks you should maintain to keep your aged parents safe and worry-free at home even in your absence. Sometimes, a situation may demand some more precautions. In that case, you have to enhance the security & safety system of your home. In general, precise care about the daily amenities and sincere care towards their well being can keep your parents happy and protected.

Working Parents – Better Beware of These Home Safety Matters

We all cherish the delight that our home is sweet, but how of many of us are sure about its safety? This is a reason for constant worry among working parents, especially those who have to leave their children at home in their absence or under the supervision of grandparents or paid caregivers. If you are one of them, let us check the issues you should be careful about so that you can make your sweet home a safe house also.

Fall off is a major risk

When you are not at your home and your workplace is far off, an accident is the most disturbing issue you may have in your mind. This accident may happen in many ways. The injuries due to falls are one of the most frightening problems applicable to elderly as well as children. In fact, in your absence, the problem of slip off can be a dreadful thing. Some safety measures can be pre-arranged:

How can you try to prevent a fall?

  • You should stabilize the staircases. This is easier said than done, especially, if the steps are too steep. Installing handrails is the easiest way to minimize accidents in that case and maintain gaps between railing properly. Further, the staircases should be cleaned regularly so that they don’t get greased due to regular use.
  • The fall-off accidents may occur in your bathroom also. Generally, it is a moist place, and constant access to water makes it more accident-prone. Try to keep the area dry as much as possible. Install anti-slip marble or tiles on the bathroom floor, and if budget permits, install a shower cubicle so that the entire area of a bathroom does not get moist.
  • Repair leakage if any in the bathroom or kitchen so that the floor is kept dry as always.
  • Ask your kids and their caregivers not to keep the toys scattered. The scattered toys can sometimes become the trigger behind a fall off.
  • An unattended rooftop/ terrace/ balcony can be dangerous for kids. If your kids stay at home in your absence it is advisable to restrict their entry to these areas. Keep the terrace/ balcony gate locked and place the key out of their access.

Minimize the risk of fire accidents

A fire accident can be really fatal. It may happen for many reasons. Therefore, you must build your home in a way where the chances of fire accidents get minimized.

  • Keep matchboxes and gas lighters away from your kids’ access.
  • Keep knob of the gas cylinder off after cooking, so that it protects them from accidents.
  • Keep all the appliances unplugged when not in use.

These safety measures will help you to reduce the risk of fire hazard, at least, in your absence.

Keeping them safe from strangling and choking

Kids often watch television shows and movies of superheroes and in the absence of their parents try to attempt those heroic stunts alone. These trials can be extremely fatal for the playing kids. Some of the precautions you may implement are:

  • Do not keep any type of cords within the access of the kids.
  • If there are blinds in the room for decoration, try to wrap them up, where kids cannot access them by their effort.

Choking hazard is another nightmare that keeps troubling parents of toddlers when they are away for work. You must instruct the caregiver at home to strictly put the items that may cause choking away from the reach of your children to minimize the chance of such hazards.

Door locks should be child-safe and secured

In most Indian homes, nowadays, two-way locks are used so that the working couples can enter the home safely and easily. But care should be taken in installing the lock in such a way that the children can open it and they cannot tamper it. Also, train them adequately so that they do not lock themselves outside, while the keys are left inside.

Also, you must explain to them about the danger of allowing strangers inside the home when parents are not around. Ensuring the safety of the entry door is one of the crucial safety protocols you have to maintain at home.

It is always wise to buy good quality locks. You can buy both the window as well as door locks. Also, make sure that the windows have grills so that the kids do not fall while leaning on them.

Check Window Size for Safety

Windows of long size with low window sill height can create a safety hazard for kids. Read the post to know more about this and its solution.

Prevention from electrocution

Electrical safety is paramount for any home, whether you are leaving kids alone at home or not.

You should service your electrical wiring and appliances periodically so that there is the least chance of short circuits. It is even better if you get an electrical inspection done because you never know what is wrong inside the concealed wiring of the house. The presence of moisture inside it can lead to horrific accidents. Using branded switches and plugs and circuit breakers in the electrical wiring system can minimize the risk of electrocution and/or fire hazard to a significant extent.

Install security camera surveillance

If possible, you must install a CCTV camera surveillance system in your home, especially, if you have to stay away for a long time and on a regular basis. You can integrate the camera with your phone so that you can monitor your home remotely.

These are the general safety tips for your home. Implement them and check their functioning from time to time. In addition to all these safety features, you must also maintain regular communication with your kids and the rest of the people at home, so that they can immediately inform you about any irregularity.

Regular maintenance of the safety arrangements, proper training for your kids about the importance of security, and regular communication with them can help you in preventing any untoward incidents. A thorough check of every corner of your home will put all your worries to rest. It is rightly said that a stitch in time, saves nine. Awareness about these issues can help you keep your kids safe at home when you are away at your office or traveling for work.

Child and Elderly Safety at Home

There is no place like home for children growing up or growing old. However, children & the elderly are more prone to injuries at home than anywhere else as they spent a lot of time at home. No doubt they should be subjected to constant supervision but it is also imperative to make the home safe as well.

As we say, Prevention is better than Cure!

One of the best ways to reduce the risk of injury is to make some physical changes around the house. Look at your home and think about what the obvious risks and hazards are. Remove the risk or hazard, if possible, or add a safety product to minimise the chance of injury.

Before considering what safety precautions you need, remember you can always change the layout of a room to help create a safer environment. If you are building or renovating your house, you can incorporate specific safety features in your design. Incorporating safety features at the design point in the majority of cases will be much more economical than to amend and make it safer at a later time.

Make home safe: Easy things you must do

Preventing falls at home for both Child & Elderlies – “To Do List” on Home Safety

Falls are the most common cause of injuries in every age group. Some tips to combat this issue are:

  • To install safety guards across entries to stairs and balconies and to always supervise your child / elderly on stairs and balconies, even if you have guards.
  • To remove throw rugs and loose mats and to make sure larger rugs are not rippled or torn.
  • To remove extension cords and other potential tripping hazards such as books, plastics, clothes and shoes from pathways.
  • To move low tables and other furniture to make it easier to move around the house.
  • To make sure chairs are of right height and have sturdy armrests.
  • To check to ensure light fixtures have at least 60-watt bulbs and that nightlights are available in hallways, bathrooms and bedroom.
  • To make sure handrails in the home (at appropriate places) are sturdy and in good conditions.
  • To use non-skid mats in the bathtub and on shower floors and install grab bars next to the toilet or shower wherever necessary.
  • To lock windows, particularly upper-storey windows or shield them with firmly attached window guards so your child can’t fall out. Use window guards and safety netting to help prevent falls from windows, balconies, decks and landings.
  • To use corner and edge bumpers to help prevent injuries from falls against sharp edges of furniture and fireplaces. Corner and edge bumpers can be used with furniture to help prevent injuries from falls and to soften/cushion falls against sharp and rough edges.

More Home Safety Tips to follow:

Bathroom Safety: One very important point that needs special mention is keeping the Bathroom dry. Elderly people mostly slip off at wet areas and cause irreplaceable damage to themselves. Even a small spill on the floor should be wiped away immediately. This point should be kept in mind and taken care of accordingly.

  • Leave a light on in your bathroom at night.
  • Skid-proof the tub and make sure the bath mat has a non-slip bottom.
  • Install hand rails.
  • Mark cold and hot faucets clearly.
  • Use door locks that can be opened from both sides.
  • If possible, bathe only when help is available.

Water safety / Do Not Leave Your Kids Alone in the Water: Use door locks to help prevent children from entering rooms and other areas with possible dangers, including bath tubs / swimming pools. Water safety depends on 100% supervision whenever your child is around water pools, baths and buckets with water. For bath safety, always supervise and give your full attention to babies, toddlers and children in the bath. Make sure the water level is not more than the waist line of your kid when you place her/him in a tub or sink.

Tips for electrical safety at home:

  • Get a licensed electrician to install safety switches, which cut power off quickly to avoid electrocution.
  • Get a licensed electrician to do any repairs.
  • Replace electrical appliances and cords if they’re worn.
  • Use power point covers.

Burns and scalds: Keep your child / elders away from fire and hot surfaces, especially around stoves, ovens, microwaves, heaters and other appliances. Hot drinks and too-hot baths are a major cause of scalds. Keep hot drinks away from and out of reach. Use anti-scald devices for faucets and shower heads.

Strangulation and suffocation especially for children: These items include soft toys, bedding, blinds, cords and ropes, and bags, boxes and packaging. Here are some essential safety tips:

  • Keep stuffed toys, cushions and piles of clothing out of baby’s reach.
  • Wrap blinds cords in cleats attached to the wall at least 1.6 m above the floor.
  • Tie knots in plastic bags, and keep them away from children.

Tips to keep your family safe around glass: Install safety glass in windows and doors or apply shatter-resistant film to windows and doors of older homes. Put stickers on glass at eye level.

Poisoning for both Child & Elderlies: Poisoning is one of the leading causes of injury to children and elder people, often poisoned by common household chemicals and medicines. Remove potential poison items. Store chemicals, medicines, cleaning supplies and other poisons high up in a locked cupboard or cabinet. Children can’t tell the difference between medicine and candy. Install child-safety latch on the doors of cupboards where you keep your poisonous items.

Channelize your child’s inner Spiderman/Superman: One common accident that occurs in every other household is when a child tries to imitate any cartoon or superhero character. Parents should make it a point to make the children understand the danger of imitation. They should be made to differentiate the ‘reel from real’ and it should be a continuous process.

Remote control has a missing battery cover: Be especially careful of button batteries, the kind you find in watches, greeting cards, and some toys which are higher voltage than traditional batteries. If your child swallows any type of battery, it can get lodged in the oesophagus and cause severe damage.

Indoor Surveillance Cameras: Children / Older people might have in-home caretakers, maintenance staff or other hired help who come and go. That’s where indoor cameras come in handy. These surveillance cameras keep a watchful eye on the home to protect against theft, abuse and other crimes.

Most of the tips covered are applicable for both Child Safety as well as for Elderlies.

No matter how careful you are, it is essential that you stay prepared in case there is an emergency condition. Fortunately, mishaps or accidents can certainly be avoided through preventive measures and by educating your kids about safety rules to be followed at home. But remember your ‘Dennis the Menace’ will find every opportunity to be innovatively naughty as much as possible. So Be Alert & Safe and Happy parenting – for both your child and your parents!

With support & modifications home is the safest place!