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Healthy Helpers

We had a scare recently in the family. One of the household helpers that my sister-in-law got from the agency suddenly got really sick and we found out that she had active tuberculosis that could infect others. It was alarming because this helper was assigned to clean the kids' rooms and look after my four-year-old nephew. When she found out about it, my sister-in-law wasted no time and immediately had all the helpers in the house and the driver x-rayed to make sure that no one else was infected. But we found out that the driver, who takes her three kids to school everyday, also had active tuberculosis. Because of this, she also had to get herself x-rayed, just to put her mind at ease. She also consulted with a doctor who specialized in pulmonary medicine to learn how to determine if her kids were infected.

The safety of the helpers we have in our home is an issue we shouldn't neglect, especially if you have small kids in the house. Upon hiring new helpers for the home, a medical check-up should be number one on your to-do list. In our case, we had our helpers undergo an x-ray to check for tuberculosis and a blood test to check for cases of Hepatitis A. These days, a lot of the diagnostic labs in the city offer packages for drivers and yayas, which are similar to the pre-employment health check package they offer for new employees in the corporate world. Helpers hired from agencies usually have x-rays included in their medical check-up, but feel free to have your helper checked by your own doctor for your own peace of mind.

Our helpers share our space and come into regular contact with us, our food, our things, and most especially, our kids. Here are some things you can do to contain the disease level at your house to a minimum:

  • Provide your helpers with medicine for common ailments, such as coughs, colds and fevers. Some of the usual things in my medicine cabinet are Biogesic for fevers, Decolgen for colds,  Dolfenal for body aches and pains and Strepsils for sore throats. Usually these are enough to do the trick. 
  • If they are sick, make your helpers wear masks, especially if they are around your kids a lot.  While coughs and colds don't seem too problematic for adults, they can be terrible in children, especially infants.
  • Be fastidious about the cleanliness of your helpers. While they are in charge of purchasing their own toiletries, I often give them freebies from groceries or mommy fairs that we don't use, such as soap samples or anti-bacterial gel.  
  • Have them checked yearly. A repeat of the x-ray and blood test they had when they started with you is always a good idea to ensure that they are still in top condition.

While some may consider these measures a bit extreme, ultimately for us mommies, this boils down to keeping our helpers healthy, so that we can keep our families illness-free. After all, it's better to be safe than sorry!

1 comments:

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