In winter, a lot of employers with babies/kids often complain their helpers from the Philippines/Indonsia for not keeping their kids warm enough, which results in their kids getting cold and need to see doctor.
WHY IS THIS PHENOMENON SO COMMON?
As the Philippines and Indonesia are countries in the tropical, the people there never experience winter. It is normal for the helper to lack awareness of the weather change in relation to the health of the kids, i.e. how many clothes should they help the kids to put on before bed, when going out, how to control the bath time, … It is unrealistic to expect them to have as high consciousness as Hong Kong people(we experience winter since the first year we were born!) automatically.
Then, what can we do to equip our foreign domestic helper(FDH) to take care of our kids better in winter? Below are some knowledge we should teach our helpers patiently:
HOW TO CHECK AND MAKE SURE THE BABY/KIDS ARE WARM ENOUGH ?
1 check their napes and/or soles. If the baby/kids are warm enough, their napes/soles should always be warm when touch. If their napes/soles are cold, it means the baby/kids are not warm enough, and we should help them to put on more clothes.
2 It’s good to put a towel on our babies/kids’ back all the time, so if they are too hot and have sweat, the towel can absorb the sweat, we can just change another towel, and our babies/kids are less likely to get cold because of the sweat.
3 If the helper sleep with the babies/kid in the same room, teach them to check the baby/kids’ nape and sole again before the helper sleeps. If the back has sweat, change the towel on his/her back. If the baby/kid’s feet are cold, help them to put on socks. If the baby’s clothes is not long enough to cover the baby’s legs, the helper should help the baby wear pants, too.
4 Teach our helpers what kind of / how many clothes we should help our babies to put on at home/when go out in different temperature.
5 Teach our helpers that they MUST bring jacket/baby blanket for them whenever they go out, no matter what season is. In winter, helper should be taught also to check regularly the temperature of the babies/kids to make sure they are not too hot and sweat when they are indoor. Assist the them to take off the jacket if they are hot.
Winter and your Filipino helpers
If it is your FDH’s first winter, she did not know how many clothes to wear to keep warm in winter. Make sure you provide enough clothing for her to wear at work and have enough blankets to keep warm while sleeping. Of course, it is not necessary for employers to your helper new clothes. Most of them do not mind to wear second-hand clothes. If the weather is cold, remind your helper she can wear socks when sleep. In winter, you should take the initiative to teach your helper how frequent she should wash her long pants, jacket, sweater, etc.
Winter comes, I sincerely wish all employers, are satisfied with the performance of your Filipino helpers. Your teaching helps to make her become competent in taking care of your baby / child in the winter.