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colds/sickness

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intime0
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colds/sickness

Postby intime0 » Mon, 22 Aug 2011 8:51 am

We get sick here about every 6 weeks. We've had a child with no less than 6 colds in the almost year we've been here. That's up from about one a year.

I think part of it is our bodies learning to fight different viruses and such.

But I'm wondering if some of it's a lack of proper hygiene and dish washing especially cups, with our maid.

She thinks they get sick when they play in the rain. And I'm not belittling her beliefs...I get that it's cultural. But because she doesnt understand how germs are spread we are spreading them like crazy.

Normally, one child get sick, maybe two. Since we've hired her, it goes through every one of us. Before we hired her I hadn't been sick in YEARS. Now I've been sick almost as often as the kids.

And I hate to just say it's related to her. Because it might not be.

But if it is, how do I go about getting her to always wash utensils and cups in the dishwasher and get her to wash her hands with warm soapy water often.

(Once I saw her empty my ice water out and put the ice into the pitcher where she refills the kids cups...without washing her hands first. Gasp!)

Anyway, I just need some advice from anyone who may have dealt with similar situations and how you overcame them.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 22 Aug 2011 9:37 am

Do you have aircon? If so, if you use it regularly, ensure the filters are VERY clean. This has to be done AT LEAST quarterly. They have to be not just cleaned but also disinfected as well. Have you notice wet or darkened spots on any of the walls or ceilings? This could cause a mold problem. We have a regular here, EV-Disinfection, who may be able to help (do a search on his name for lots of posts regarding same).

Do you use aircon all the time? I haven't used aircon in 30 years here, using only ceiling fans and good ventilation. this seems to stop a lot of it as well. However, your problem could, as you have noted, be a result of unhygienic practices by your domestic help. How much time has been spend training her (not by the agent, but yourself). If she cannot learn and all other variables have been eliminated, you might want to think about a replacement.

sms

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Postby nakatago » Mon, 22 Aug 2011 10:00 am

Tell your maid that the kids are still developing immunity and that she needs to take extra steps to keep the germs away by hand washing and all the other steps you'd want to point out. The thing with people from third world countries (disclosure: I'm from one), they get away with certain things because of the extra immunity. Hence, some things are taken from granted.

Usually, it's just due to ignorance.

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Postby Calmday » Mon, 22 Aug 2011 10:08 am

We had the same issue for a long time. We learned to not go the children’s play places like Go Go Bambini. Every time we went to one of those places my son would be sick a week later. I’m sure that most of it was building up immunity to different strains of bugs than we have in the west. Another thing is that most people don’t clean with disinfectant here. They just throw lots of water on everything including bathrooms. In the long run this is probably better as the immune system will strengthen and compensate but it takes a while for it to build up if you come from a more sanitary place.
The MRT/Bus is a complete other subject. I just learned to not touch anything when riding the public transit.

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Postby JayCee » Mon, 22 Aug 2011 10:36 am

I get sore throats quite regularly here, I definitely blame it on the air conditioning. Going from very hot, to very cold and back again about 10 times a day can't be healthy for your body.

We don't use aircon at home either, it's the aircon in the office, restaurants, malls etc...
I HAVE MASTERS!

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Postby Brah » Mon, 22 Aug 2011 4:11 pm

Sorry to say but I think your helper is at least a partial cause. We had one and she did what she would consider normal, and what we would consider (coming from a Draconian Japanese sensibility of hygiene) unspeakable.

I.e. bare feet on the food area when cleaning hard to reach areas, using the the same wipe for dishes as for other areas I would never do, cleaning floor washing utensils in the sink where food is prepared, and so on.

In a way I didn't fault her because where she comes from this kind of thing is considered ok. Tried educating her, giving her separate materials for different uses and labeling them and writing them in a workbook, but behind my back she just went and did things her way regardless. So she got fired and I put the word out to her other employers who are friends of mine. Now no one uses her as my friend's wife complained of the same thing months earlier.

Now multiply this with every restaurant you go and not knowing their level of HQ (like Emotional Quotient or Intelligence Quotient, "Hygiene Quotient") and how that relates to your own, as I believe there a lot of variances country to country and even family to family.

How many restaurants do you see where there are no paper towels in the washrooms? How many times have you gone for the door of a washroom only to find it wet from the last person's hands - do you consider that clean? I certainly don't but the last person either does or doesn't care. And in some cases, these are the people preparing your food. Don't even get me started on seeing the same persons putting their fingers in their noses or coughing while working around food.

My SO was at her friend's cooking when she saw her rolling dough with unclean hands, dropped a piece on the floor and picked it up and added it back to the mix and never batted an eye. Since then we never eat anything that friend gives us because we're very much the opposite in terms of what we're comfortable with.

The other thing as mentioned, and it really affected me, is air con service - I suffered terribly from allergic reactions to mold, like never before, until I got a better maid and made sure I kept my air cons clean. Sound like common sense but took me a while to figure that one out.

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Postby hougangpeterlee » Tue, 23 Aug 2011 10:45 pm

JayCee wrote:I get sore throats quite regularly here, I definitely blame it on the air conditioning. Going from very hot, to very cold and back again about 10 times a day can't be healthy for your body.

We don't use aircon at home either, it's the aircon in the office, restaurants, malls etc...


Excellent point. The air conditioning truly causes many people to develop sore throats. Whenever there is a change of more than 3 degrees celcius, I develop a sore throat immediately.

Once I walked from the sweltering heat of the open skies into the cold air-conditioning of my office and I had a hacking cough for 6 months.

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Postby nakatago » Tue, 23 Aug 2011 11:16 pm

Wh-wha-hu-what? Do my eyes deceive me?!?

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Postby JayCee » Wed, 24 Aug 2011 1:07 pm

hougangpeterlee wrote:
JayCee wrote:I get sore throats quite regularly here, I definitely blame it on the air conditioning. Going from very hot, to very cold and back again about 10 times a day can't be healthy for your body.

We don't use aircon at home either, it's the aircon in the office, restaurants, malls etc...


Excellent point. The air conditioning truly causes many people to develop sore throats. Whenever there is a change of more than 3 degrees celcius, I develop a sore throat immediately.

Once I walked from the sweltering heat of the open skies into the cold air-conditioning of my office and I had a hacking cough for 6 months.


Do you also develop a pair of testicles when the temperature changes, or do you prefer to stay as a brave internet warrior complaining about foreigners in your little roundabout way whilst saying nothing in a real-life situation?
I HAVE MASTERS!

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Postby x9200 » Wed, 24 Aug 2011 1:17 pm

He is a foreigner worker by himself. Some countries must be getting really desperate.

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Postby durban65 » Wed, 24 Aug 2011 6:42 pm

How many restaurants do you see where there are no paper towels in the washrooms? How many times have you gone for the door of a washroom only to find it wet from the last person's hands - do you consider that clean? I certainly don't but the last person either does or doesn't care. And in some cases, these are the people preparing your food. Don't even get me started on seeing the same persons putting their fingers in their noses or coughing while working around food.

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Postby durban65 » Wed, 24 Aug 2011 6:50 pm

We learned to not go the children’s play places like Go Go Bambini. Every time we went to one of those places my son would be sick a week later. I’m sure that most of it was building up immunity to different strains of bugs than we have in the west. Another thing is that most people don’t clean with disinfectant here. They just throw lots of water on everything including bathrooms. In the long run this is probably better as the immune system will strengthen and compensate but it takes a while for it to build up if you come from a more sanitary place.

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Postby cbavasi » Wed, 24 Aug 2011 8:59 pm

durban65 wrote:How many restaurants do you see where there are no paper towels in the washrooms? How many times have you gone for the door of a washroom only to find it wet from the last person's hands - do you consider that clean? I certainly don't but the last person either does or doesn't care. And in some cases, these are the people preparing your food. Don't even get me started on seeing the same persons putting their fingers in their noses or coughing while working around food.


I have been wanting to rant on this subject for so long! I have a 4 yr old so we spend an unusual amount of time at the basin in public toilets while she washes her hands "by herself" and then I have to do a follow up wash. During this time women come and go after using the toilet and either:

1) run only one hand under water (no soap)
2) use hand to scoop water to gargle (not bothered to wash)
3) use water to fix hair

And don't get me started on the ones who are wearing restaurant uniforms. My hope is they are washing when they get back to the restaurant. Honestly, it really astounds me!

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Postby hougangpeterlee » Wed, 24 Aug 2011 10:21 pm

JayCee wrote:
hougangpeterlee wrote:
JayCee wrote:I get sore throats quite regularly here, I definitely blame it on the air conditioning. Going from very hot, to very cold and back again about 10 times a day can't be healthy for your body.

We don't use aircon at home either, it's the aircon in the office, restaurants, malls etc...


Excellent point. The air conditioning truly causes many people to develop sore throats. Whenever there is a change of more than 3 degrees celcius, I develop a sore throat immediately.

Once I walked from the sweltering heat of the open skies into the cold air-conditioning of my office and I had a hacking cough for 6 months.


Do you also develop a pair of testicles when the temperature changes, or do you prefer to stay as a brave internet warrior complaining about foreigners in your little roundabout way whilst saying nothing in a real-life situation?


Jesus! Why are you so hostile and rude? I am sure you are the exception as most foreign workers I've met are always respectful towards us S'poreans and not arrogant at all.

Your post isn't very nice but I am sure it is just cultural differences. Don't worry JC, I will still hold the lift door open for you and give you that familiar smile when if I meet you in real life.

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Postby JR8 » Wed, 24 Aug 2011 10:23 pm

I don't recall getting sick in SG once.

Cups 'not precisely washed' are unlikely to be a problem, never mind a source of catching a cold.

I had a barnyard upbringing and still as a matter of course won't flinch at rinsing out mops etc in the kitchen sink (why would you, what is there to be so afraid of?).

If it is respiratory ailments you're experiencing, I'd pay more attention to air quality. It's pretty crap at this time of year, and you can be sure the govt won't report the real facts.


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