The Thai monsoon season has definitely now arrived in full force and while it starts with a few one-off storms and a little rain over night, it soon swings into full gear causing heavy rain with frequent floods and some pretty spectacular storms. While Bangkok life carries on as normal, be mindful of the traffic when the heavens open and remember to stand well back when trying to find that elusive taxi!
Moving around the city can be pretty tricky when there’s a downpour and you have to shuttle kids to and from school, so it’s definitely worth investing in some rain boots and a packable rain coat the kids can keep tucked inside their school bags.
In this post we have collected some top tips on how to keep everyone in the family healthy and safe during these very rainy months.
Proper Rain Gear
Apart from the obvious umbrella, a hooded raincoat and waterproof shoes or boots are the required gear for these rainy days, especially if you regularly travel by foot. As much fun as it is for the kids to be outside and having fun with rainy day activities, it’s also equally important to make sure you lower the chances of them getting soaked when caught in a downpour.
Those in immunosuppressed groups, including children, may catch a cold after being exposed to the cool breeze that often accompanies rain showers. If caught unprepared, step into your nearest supermarket or mini mart – they are usually stocked with basic rain equipment including the Bangkok monsoon staple of brightly coloured rain ponchos!
Take a Warm Shower After Your Drenching
After being caught in the rain, chances are kids may get more easily sick with various coughs, colds and even the flu. When caught in a downpour make sure you change your kids clothes immediately and put them in a nice warm shower or bath. This helps stabilise the cold temperature brought by the rains and helps the body return to a normal temperature after drying off and getting dressed.
Always remember to dry their hair straight away, sitting around with wet hair, especially if inside an air conditioned apartment is a sure way to bring on a head cold. A warm drink is always another good idea to help heat them up and it’s also a cosy rainy day, feel good factor for the kids!
Thunder and Lightning
Teach kids about basic safety around thunder and lightning. The rule of thumb is that, if they can hear thunder, it’s time to head indoors, especially if they are swimming and even if it hasn’t started to rain.
Also, avoid open areas, such as playing fields, isolated tall objects like trees and light posts and metal objects such as fences and clotheslines. Wait at least 30 minutes after the last observed lightning strike or thunder to resume outdoor activities.
Be Aware of Drinking Water Sources
Water-borne diarrheal diseases are very common during the monsoon season. Be cautious of potentially contaminated sources, especially when buying drinks from street stalls. It’s best to take your own boiled or purified drinking water with you. Send the kids off to school with their own water bottle and encourage them to re-fill the bottle rather than drinking from school fountains.
Watch Out For Stagnant Water
Stagnant water is the prime breeding ground for mosquitoes. Dengue Fever, a potentially deadly mosquito-borne disease is most rampant during the rainy season. Regularly empty out still water sources, such as planter saucers and trays, pet water bowls, inflatable pools and decorative urns, around the home and in the garden. It’s also a good idea to keep mosquito repellent patches handy to attach to the kids cloths and a bottle of citronella or deet free mosquito spray if the kids are playing outside.
Get more tips on dealing with mosquitoes here.
Avoid Wading in Flood Waters
During the monsoon season, many of the streets in Bangkok will flood causing drains to overflow and sometimes leaving you no option but to have to wade through murky waters to reach home. Be especially aware of leptospirosis, a bacterial disease that is spread by floods containing urine and other bodily fluids of infected animals, including dogs and rodents.
Whilst it may be good fun to let the kids puddle jump bare foot in the garden, never let them walk through flooded streets bare foot, even if it means spoiling new school shoes. Also, in the eventuality of your home being flooded make sure you clean or disinfect toys that have been contaminated by flood water before allowing children to resume playing with them.
Keep Little Hands Clean
At the time of writing, keeping hands clean has been a primary concern over the last 6 months with the spread of COVID-19, so this is something all kids are now definitely used to. Common cold symptoms and other viruses can escalate during the rainy season so pay special attention during these monsoon months. To keep everyone safe, clean hands regularly and always bring a hand sanitizer when you are out and about. Also, make it a habit to wash hands and feet when you get home, especially after contact with rain or flood waters.
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