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.

8 Easy habits to keep your home clean and clutter-free

1. Maintain No-shoe Rule
2. Put things back after use
3. Wipe your Counters & tables after each meal
4. Wash the dishes and clean your sink
5. Empty & clean Dustbin regularly
6. Prepare a Weekly & Monthly Cleaning routine
7. Make a Morning routine
8. Finish the Night with your Evening Routine

When life gets busy, keeping a clean home can fall by the wayside. When your home is dirty or cluttered, it is difficult to focus on the tasks you should be doing.

Also, Medical professionals and organizers believe that a cluttered home is not just an aesthetic problem1, it can lead to very real health issues. Cleaning and de-cluttering your home enhance happy & healthy living.

We all like living in clean and clutter-free houses. Being a wife, mom, homemaker and also if you are a working woman, there are many tasks and responsibilities that you are accountable for. Between work, parenthood and everyday life chaos, keeping your house clean & clutter-free can be one of the toughest things for many of us.

So, today, we are sharing some easy routines and habits to help you maintain a clean & clutter-free home now and in the future.

1. Maintain No-shoe Rule

If you want to avoid bringing in mud and dirt from the outside, then one of the important habits is to make and maintain a no-shoe rule at home. We assume most of you already follow this habit but still we included this for those who do not know its important point in keeping your home clean. Keep a shoe rack at the entrance of the home. If you are a person who finds its difficult walking barefoot then always keep a separate clean slipper only for inside home usage (avoid using that in bathrooms).

2. Put things back after use

It is so much easier to pick things up as you go but many of us do not bother to keep things back at their place after usage. This is one of the reason which creates a disorganized and untidy home. The key to making this work, of course, is to ensure that everything has its own place. Do that first if you have not already.

3. Wipe your Counters & tables after each meal

After you eat your meal, apart from putting away the dishes and cutleries & washing them, you should remember to wipe down the tables and counters2.

The simple act of wiping down your counters and table will get you in the habit of keeping these surfaces clear of clutter and clean of dirt & germs. Surfaces should be free and clear to prepare and eat on – just doing this one thing will help you feel tidier and lighter all around. You should also disinfect your counters and tables every once in a while.

4. Wash the dishes and Clean your sink

Try and avoid getting into the habit of leaving your dishes to be washed for the next day. It is not a nice way to wake up if you have to deal with washing the dishes that you left overnight. We will also suggest keeping utensils inside the cabinet when it is dry to avoid the damage to the cabinet and growth of germs. So, wash the dishes every night, and put them away in morning.

Also, your kitchen sink is the place where you wash your dishes and clean up messes. But how often do you clean your kitchen sink? Wash kitchen sinks regularly as research shows they actually have more germs than the toilet3. Sinks4 and hidden sections of the kitchen wardrobe must be cleaned regularly with antibacterial wipes or other related products.

5. Empty & Clean Dustbin

A dustbin is the dirtiest place in the house, and it is likely to attract various pests like cockroaches and houseflies that lead to different infections and diseases. To keep them at bay, empty and clean your dustbin on a regular basis.

Washing the bin with hot water and a liquid cleaner once a week will minimize the smell. Also, coordinate with a garbage collector to pick your garbage daily to avoid the piling of waste at home.

Always maintain a separate dustbin in the kitchen for wet waste and another in living room or balcony for dry waste.

Disposing of garbage is a daily chore, just like any other job in your life. This habit helps you keep your home clean, healthy, hygienic and smell-free.

6. Prepare a Weekly & Monthly Cleaning routine

Make a cleaning routine and divide the task you will do on a weekly and monthly basis. If you follow a proper cleaning routine and do not wait for Diwali to clean your house, you will never have the need to deep clean. This is also useful for those, who have house helps. According to this routine, they can instruct and get the work done. For example: For weekly schedule – do dusting, organize one room in each week, give more care to bathrooms and kitchen, cabinets etc and for monthly schedule – check all appliances, furniture, wash rugs, wipe down walls etc. This cleaning routine can be prepared depending on an individual’s time availability. To understand more through some cleaning routine examples, click here5.

7. Make your Morning routine

Our morning routine is so important to get our day off on the right track. It not only gives a jumpstart on a few daily tasks we have to do in our home, but it also makes feel like accomplished something right away.

Morning routine can differ for a homemaker and working woman in terms of devoting time. You should include making your bed, start a load of laundry in the washing machine, wipe down the bathroom counters, kitchen counters, quick pickup of our living space, sweep & mop the floor etc. A working woman can transfer some tasks in the evening. To get better understanding, you can read about successful morning routine6.

8. Finish the Night with your Evening Routine

Just like your morning routine is the perfect way to start your day, your evening routine will help you set yourself up for success the next day. These include preparing dinner, cleaning utensils of dinner, folding and ironing the clothes, doing some basic food preparation for tomorrow (generally if you are a working woman).

Other Important Point for those who have a working place at home: A clean workspace will not just ensure that you stay healthy, but it can also boost your productivity. If you are working from home or have a home office, read How to Clean Your Home Office7.

Conclusion

The habits listed above should help you keep your house clean, clutter-free and maintain it. The great thing about having daily cleaning habits is that the longer you do it, the less you have to clean. This is the reason why you should start your cleaning habits today since the sooner you do it, the sooner you will see the results.

The ideal cleaning routine will vary from person to person – what works for one, may not necessarily work for another. Your needs will change depending on the size of your home, the age of your children, your work schedule outside of the home, etc. There are, however, a few basics that we all must get done daily and others can be done on a weekly, monthly duration.

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.

Tips to keep Employees safe from Coronavirus at Workplace

As states and cities begin to lift lockdown restrictions on stay-at-home orders, the time has come to resume work but very cautiously. The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic has created many new challenges, especially for businesses looking to re-open and which are already open. With COVID-19 global numbers crossing the mark of 7 million1, and India with more than 2.7 lakh positive cases; the uproar and fear for this illness are hardly going to rest soon. One thing which needs to be realized is that we have to learn to live with this disease.

It is vital for companies to implement new strategies and safety precautions. Employers must take suitable precautions to re-open their business to create a safe, protected work area for employees, customers and others. So, we thought to provide you some tips that will ensure the safety of employees from the virus in office spaces:

1. Discourage Biometric Sensor usage

The biometric sensors are touched at the entrances of most office by all. Due to this, it becomes a transmissible spot for the spread of any kind of virus and bacteria. Offices should adopt the practice of attendance through manual way for some time till the virus spread settles.

2. Open Conversation about the virus

The general discussion for COVID-19 should be done without any hesitation between an employer and the employees. As a responsible employer, there can be posters displaying tips or measures at commonly used places for employees to read and follow. For example – tips for properly washing hands, awareness tips about preventive measures for coronavirus, etc.

3. Avoid Events / Conferences for some time

The events and conferences are kinds of networking opportunities for people to meet. To promote safety for your employees and organization, the best you can do is make them avoid crowded places. So postpone or avoid events and conferences for some time. Of course this would put a strain on many businesses, for this there is a better option of making use of technologies like video conferencing / virtual meetings.

4. Routine Cleaning & Sanitizing of commonly touched areas

There are areas like washrooms, conference rooms, kitchen, canteen that are used by entire office staff at some or the other point of time. These commonly used areas need proper cleaning, sanitization and disinfection. In the present situation, when offices are reopening, it is important to have office cleaning and sanitized2. After getting sanitized with proper stepwise process by professionals3, follow routine cleaning & sanitization of office as suggested by them.

Apart from this, placement of sanitizers, soaps, and hand-washing gels(touch-less) is also a must requisite for the office spaces. This will make the office a safe place for interaction and maintain work feasibility.

5. Create awareness about boosting Immunity

The only thing that we can do to fight against Coronavirus is to strengthen our immunity at this time as vaccines are not yet available. Hence it is important to boost immunity. If possible,create awareness among employees regarding this. They should try to pack their food from home because getting food delivered from outside in the office may increase the risk of contamination. They can also carry foods rich in Vitamin C like oranges and amla, drink ginger tea, herbal tea and warm water to keep oneself warm and eat healthy and hygienically prepared food when in office. To more about how to boost immunity, you can read and share the content by Narayana health4.

6. Social Distancing in the Office

Keeping more distance between people has proven to be a key in controlling the transmission of COVID-19. With social distancing becoming the new normal, the layout of offices may be changed. Larger spaces with fewer people, and the approach of the “six-feet office5” are all starting to make their way into post-COVID-19 office designs around the world. And those who cannot change the layout of office at this time, can create a schedule of the alternate day coming to office and work from home for employees. This will help in maintaining social distancing.

7. Avoid fake information spreading

Being responsible management, in times of crisis like these, the spread of fake and unverified information will only cause more panic and chaos. Educating employees on checking the credibility of the information derived will help promote a calm office culture.

Conclusion

There is a saying ‘Prevention is better than cure’. These are general tips for keeping employees safe from Coronavirus at the workplace. But there are other aspects which should be followed to protect against Coronavirus at the workplace, so one can also refer to Do’s and Don’ts for Office work6 during the pandemic.

Our objective is to create awareness about the safety of employees and its importance during this present pandemic situation with the help of this content. This can be useful for both employers and employees.

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.

Protect Yourself from Corona Virus: Do’s & Don’ts

Another year, another virus outbreak. The news of the corona virus outbreak in Wuhan, China and its subsequent spreading would have certainly scared you. There are reasons to be concerned about the news. You never know when a viral disease becomes pandemic. As we are witnessing already that the virus that broke out in Wuhan has now spread to countries as far as the US. The World Health Organization, too, has declared a health emergency.

Corona Virus is Not the Name of the Virus. It Is the Name ofthe Virus Family.

A Little Bit About Corona Virus Family

Corona virus was first discovered in the 1960s among poultry stocks and in the nasal cavity of infected humans. The virus is actually not rare. Every year, many people get infected by this virus. So, you see, this is not something new. But there are many strains of this virus. There are strains that result in common symptoms like cough, cold, upper respiratory tract infection, tiredness and an overall feeling of illness. However, there are strains that can result in severe illnesses like bronchitis and pneumonia.

Do you remember the news of the SARS outbreak in 2003? People across the Asian countries were falling ill with cough, fever, dyspnoea, and pneumonia. It was scientifically confirmed at that time that SARS was caused by a strain of Corona virus. This time, too, the patient zero was from China and the disease itself originated in China. Another strain of Corona virus had found its way in the Middle East and resulted in MERS – another SARS like disease.

Wuhan Corona Virus – 2020

Just like the SARS-causing Corona virus, which were transferred from civets to humans, this time the Novel Corona virus was transferred to humans in a market where exotic seafood are sold in unhygienic condition. Scientists are assuming that this time, the virus was transferred from snakes to humans. The virus was first reported on 31st December last year. Since then, it has infected more than 67,000 people globally1.

This is just the official figures. Unofficial information pegs this figure at a much higher level.

Do Indians Need To Panic?

There is a difference between panic and fear. The Novel Corona virus is not as deadly as SARS. While SARS had a 9% mortality rate, the Novel Corona virus has till now only 2% mortality rate. Nevertheless, there are two reasons why Indians need to be a little worried and aware of this virus – Firstly, the fact that China is a neighbouring country puts us at risk. Every year, many students go to China to study. There are many Indian Businessmen too. In fact, the epicentre of the outbreak – Hubei – houses around 1200 Indians, out of which 600 have been reached out by the government2 as per update on Jan 30. Efforts are still on to airlift them to India as soon as possible.

The second reason is this virus has a comparatively longer incubation period. Hence, it can spread at a rapid rate without the people knowing about its infection until it starts manifesting in a full fledged manner.

Three cases of Corona virus have been reported in Kerala. The state has now declared the Corona virus outbreak an emergency.

The proactive measures of the central and state governments are commendable. The army has set up isolation units for people coming from Wuhan. As a result, it is less likely that the virus will not take the form of an epidemic. So, do not panic, but be a little aware of the things needed to be done to avoid getting infected by the virus.

Dos and Don’ts to Protect Yourself fromCorona Virus Infection:

Do’s

  • Wash your hands very often – Always clean your hands thoroughly with soap before eating. Carry hand sanitizers when you are outside. Wash your hands even before cooking food. If you are a caregiver, wash your hands after attending to the patient. Washing hands eliminates the virus if it is on your hands.
  • Cover your mouth – When you sneeze or cough, do not forget to use a handkerchief to cover your mouth. If you use your hands to cover your mouth, do wash your hands after sneezing.
  • Use a Mask for face – Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of virus to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Eat properly cooked food – To kill all the virus and bacteria present in meat or eggs, cook them properly. It is advisable to avoid meat for sometime till the emergency period is over.
  • Use gloves while touching animals.
  • Keep your surroundings clean – Give the health of your home topmost priority. Make sure it is hygienic. Use an air purifier (electronic or natural/ ventilated) to maintain the quality of indoor air and keep outside pollutants at bay. If you work in an institution or office or shop where many people visit, make sure that the surfaces of tables, chairs, counters, door-knobs, etc are cleaned every now and then.

Don’ts

  • Do not travel if you are sick. Especially, if you have a cough or cold.
  • Do not delay visiting a doctor if your cough or cold do not subside within four days.
  • Avoid public conveyance as the buses and autos are almost always crowded. It is better not to come in close contact with your fellow travellers.
  • Do not plan a visit to China now. Even if your destination is not Wuhan, visiting China should be avoided.
  • Avoid eating out as much as possible, especially, in street-side joints.
  • If you are suffering from cold, cough and respiratory tract infection for more than four or five days, do not suppress this information fearing any public reaction. Save yourself and others by reporting your illness.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent infection. The best way to prevent is to avoid exposure to this virus3 and follow some tips for it. As per current situation and few cases in India4, we thought it prudent to make you aware about the things which can be done and also avoided to prevent yourself if you are facing some problems.

Safety in School: 11 Prime Concerns a Parent should keep track of?

A school is like the second home for a kid and therefore, it has to be safe enough. As children staying their schools without their parents’ supervision for long hours, it is a serious concern about how to make the property a safe haven for the little learners.

Let us list here some features and facilities that may add extra safety to the schools1. The safety features should be included in the school building as well as on the premises to keep the entire zone protected and child-proof as much as possible.

1. School entrance

First and foremost, the entrance has to be protected and should always be under surveillance. Other than digital surveillance, human security is also important. Students should be well monitored when they are entering or leaving the school premise. Any unusual time-entry or exit should also be recorded digitally and inquired with care.

2. Broad driveway

A broader driveway inside the premises is always an advantage. It helps students to come safely into the school building. This is especially applicable for students who come to school by private transport. The best solution for traffic management on the driveway is to employ extra staff or to make a separate track for school buses altogether.

3. Staircases: Less steep with durable railings

Staircases are one of the places in a school that can be the cause of some unwanted incidents. For example, slippery tiles or marbles are dangerous for kids. It is also difficult for them to climb the stairs if the steps are too steep or too narrow.

Railings alongside the steps are another major safety concern. Children holding the staircase railing may fall down if the latter is not fitted strongly. So along with staircases, the railings have to be constructed with best planning.

4. Flooring: Clean but not slippery

Floor of the corridor and classrooms are the places where students walk, run, jump, AND often slip off! Therefore, the floor surfaces should be non-slippery. Adequate friction is necessary for proper stepping, especially for toddlers. Even students of upper classes who are walking with loads of books and copies most of the time run the risk of slipping if the floor is too smooth. Therefore, maintaining the floor is the key to ensuring safety.

5. Classroom structure and arrangement

The classroom is where children spend the largest share of their school time. Therefore, every part of the classroom should ensure total comfort and safety for the children. Some of the suggested features of a safe & clean classroom are:

  • Sufficient ventilation in the class;
  • If the classroom is air-conditioned, there has to be enough provision of natural entry of sunlight if AC gets off;
  • The desk and benches should not have sharp edges;
  • Electric connection and light and fan fixtures should be well maintained so that no hazardous incidents occur. In the toddler’s section, the switchboards should be fitted away from the reach of the small children;
  • CCTV surveillance is one of the features that will help teachers to track the whole class. Students will get alarmed about CCTV that their unruly behavior is being monitored even in the absence of the teacher. Not only behavior monitoring but this will also ensure better safety for the children;
  • The walls and ceilings should be damp-free. Damp walls attract microbes which cause allergy and other health problems. Moreover, dampness damages the wall structure as well as the paint on it causing it to pop up and fall off. Falling chunks from the ceilings and walls may invite unnecessary mishaps and flaky paint may cause irritation in eyes of the children.

6. Entry to the terrace should be made restricted

A terrace is another vulnerable point of the school. Students may like to stroll there but there are risks involved in this habit. A rooftop cannot be a reliable place for kids to play, no matter how old they are.

Therefore school terrace has to stay protected. The entry gate should remain locked and the keys should stay out of the access of the students.

7. Bathrooms should be well maintained

Not only hygiene but the safety of bathrooms is also crucial in schools – both for the kids as well as for growing children. The door lock should be of a simple type which kids can operate easily.

The washroom for girls and boys should be strictly different. Girls’ toilet premises must be protected with locked doors with CCTV installed outside it.

Both the bathrooms should be kept super clean with a proper supply of water and regular availability of basic toiletries. Floor etc. should be mopped at regular intervals so that there is minimum risk of slipping on it.

8. Drinking water area should be kept dry

The school must have well-maintained water purifiers in the student arena where they can fill their water bottles and/or drink water if needed. The height of the tap should be within the reach of the junior students also. The area must be made with non-slippery floor for added safety.

9. Fire Safety: A must

According to the government’s school safety policy guidelines, every school must adopt adequate measures for fire management and control. They must have enough number of fire extinguishers and fire exits as per the building’s size and area. Plus, fire drills must be conducted from time to time involving students and staff so that in times of emergencies, everything is under control in the least possible time. For detailed safety rules in school, click here2.

10. Safety in the playground

Accidents on playground are quite common. To minimize their occurrence, the ground must be maintained properly – grass cover cut short, potholes covered, and debris of construction materials, if any, removed. The cricket/ football fields or basketball/ volleyball grounds also need to be well maintained. Trees near the ground should be properly trimmed so that the risk of an accident by uprooted trees can be minimized.

11. Sick room with first aid arrangement

The school must have the provision for a sick room where students can take rest if they fall sick for some reason. The availability of the first-aid box, one or two nursing staff, and doctor-on-call can help in managing critical hours of ailment and accidents in school till the concerned guardians/ help reach on spot.

Summary

These are some of the basic safety features that make a school safe and secure for the students besides their emotional and physical safety. With all these arrangements in place, parents can be a little sorted in mind thinking that their kids will be safe during school hours.

Children are sent to school for their overall development. But staying safe physically, mentally and emotionally is equally important for enjoying the growth and education, in the school. If the school authority maintains safety within their premises, parents can enjoy their peace of mind. However, maintaining safety in such a huge property is not an easy task. And it is certainly not the job of the teaching and non-teaching staff. For an expert and detailed inspection for safety, professional inspection companies must be hired. They will check the property for construction quality and safety issues from time to time and ensure that no casualty happen when children are in the school.