How to ensure the safety of kids during floods?
How to make sure they don’t fall ill in the most difficult circumstances?
What are the precautionary measures that you can do to protect yourself and your child?
Today I write about the 14 MUST do things to ensure yours and your loved one’s safety during floods.
As I am writing this post, Kerala is experiencing historical rainfalls and flooding. I am more than thankful that my child and I have (incidentally) traveled out of Kerala and we are in a safe place at the moment.
But the live videos from each and every part of Kerala are leaving me panicked and helpless. The most affected people will be children, pregnant women and the elderly.
14 Ways to ensure safety of kids during floods:
As a blogger at Bumps n Baby, the least I can do at the moment is spread some knowledge on how you can ensure your kids safety during such heavy floods and water contamination in any city or town.
#1. Keep basic food supplies at home
With excessive rains, transportation of food materials will be a great challenge and eventually shops will run out of food stuff.
If you are alerted about the possibility of floods or excessive rains, stock food supplies at home- rice, atta, dal, biscuits, bread, milk powder or tetrapacks of milk (that can stay good for several days).
My mom who has experience with flooding says poha is a great option. It will stay good for many days, and it can be eaten without cooking (by just soaking in water or milk) .
#2. Keep basic medicines and antiseptic liquids at home
With the water and air being contaminated, children are likely to fall sick, adding to all the woes. Keep basic medicines for children at home (medicines for cough, fever, vomiting, diarrhea and any medicines specific to the child). ORS sachets and vicks vaporub will also come in handy. Also keep stock of antiseptic soaps and liquids.
It is especially important to keep hands and all surfaces clean during this time. Also keep disposable diapers, wipes and tissues in stock as clothes won’t dry easily.
#3. Keep the insects out
Mosquitoes and other disease causing pathogens can multiply excessively during this season. Keep doors and windows closed. Use mosquito net, electric fly-swatters and whatever is needed to keep the insects out.
#4. Electricity is precious
When it is raining, it is not uncommon in India to have the power cut several days in a row. Keep this in mind and prepare accordingly.
Keep your mobile, inverter, emergency lamp or torches fully charged. Use them sparingly during power cut, as you never know when power will return
Keep candles and matchbox handy. If you have small children, ensure that they stay away from lighted candles.
#5. Stock water for drinking and cooking
This is one mistake I have made firsthand.
We use water straight from the Reverse Osmosis system. When the power got cut for two consecutive days, we ran out of the water in the RO. Thankfully, there was one can of water available in the nearby shop and we bought it.
Make sure you have adequate supply of potable water and use it wisely. If you are buying bottled water or water cans, request you to stock it before the situation gets worse.
In emergency times, we must be considerate for others and not buy more than what we need. Our neighbors need water as much as we do.
#6. Boiling water for safety
With the flooding in Chennai, sump water has been getting mixed with drainage water, causing a major health concern.
Always make sure that the water used for children (and yourselves) during the flood is boiled well.
Once the water begins to bubble, bring it to a rolling boil. After this, it needs to boil for a minimum of three minutes to kill all the pathogens.
#7. When you do not get safe drinking water
When worse gets worst, you may not even have access to any clean water that you can boil and drink. In this case, let the available water settle in a vessel. The heavy impurities will sink to the bottom. Then take the water without disturbing the settled particles. Run it through a clean cloth or a coffee filter several times until the water looks clear.
Now boil it as mentioned above and use for drinking. You can add some cumin seeds to your boiled water to give your children additional immunity during this difficult period.
#8. Move to a safe place if needed
If you live in the ground floor or in a low lying area, which is susceptible to flooding, consider moving to a safer place before things get out of control. This was one thing I learnt from the Chennai floods. With such tremendous rainfall and the lakes breaching one after the other, being rescued to a safe place in neck deep water is a big challenge.
If you have small children, move to a friend or relative’s house before things get worse.
#9. Avoid taking children out
With the dangers of live electric wires in flooded water, and the pathogens and insects that reside there, avoid taking your children out unless there is an emergency.
You can also read how to engage toddlers and kids at home indoors.
#10. Time to eat healthy
This is the time to keep our children’s immunity at peak. Give them healthy, nutritious and easy to digest food. They need an immunity boost to get them through these trying times.
#11. Getting medical help
Getting medical help can become a big challenge in case of an emergency.
Try to figure out the options you have in case of a medical emergency. Hopefully, you will never need it. But you can still help someone in need.
#12. Give your children emotional assurance
For small children, such an unforeseen situation can raise fear and insecurity in their minds.
Assure them that the situation is under control and you are there to ensure their safety. This once again comes from my flood-experienced mom!
#13. Extend your concern to other children
Hopefully, you are doing safe in your house. But there will be lot of less fortunate people like your house maid or watchman struggling in danger. This is the time to teach your children compassion.
Ensure their safety, and if possible give them and their children a safe place to stay for a few days.
#14. Continue to stay safe after floods recede
As soon as the flood has drained, you may feel the urge to relax. But remember, diseases continue to spread for some time even after the floods have receded.
Keep your children protected from pathogens for a while after things have returned to normal.
Hope I have covered the major things you can do to keep our precious little children safe during this time.
Stay safe. Help others as much as you can. This is the time to keep your spirits high. Love to all the little children who make this world beautiful.