Dear Doc D,
I hope related pa din sya with women’s health
My 7th month young son is left with Yaya most of the time when I’m at work. I notice, however that Yaya easily gets sick – runny nose, coughing, sneezing. Is there any vaccine she should take? I never wanted her spreading the virus to other members of the family especially to the little one left for her to take care of.
Of course, it goes without saying that before you hire a stranger to take care of your most precious baby, you have to interview her and scrutinize her credentials up to the tiniest detail.
You will not know what is happening at home while you are at work. Paano kung serial killer yan or mahilig magtelebabad while your baby is crying his eyes out.
Now … fast forward to the present.
You’ve interviewed more than a dozen prospects and you’ve chosen the one perfect candidate. She seems to be kind-hearted, medyo smart and decent-looking in her scrubs or white uniform.
Since yaya will become almost like a member of your family … she will sleep in your room … when you eat out she eats in the same table as you … in an out-of-town trip she may even share the bathroom with you… your kids will hug and kiss her … of course, you want to make sure that she is healthy.
The first step is to do a CBC or complete blood count to check for anemia (High Precision Laboratory charges Php150 for this test). She will be puyat all the time and you don’t want her to faint and suddenly drop your baby just because she’s anemic. Give her an iron supplement to make up for her sleepless nights. Hemarate (Php 12.00/tablet in Mercury) is a preferred brand by my patients because it comes in a very small tablet making it very easy to swallow.
Next, ask for a urinalysis to check for UTI (Php 90 at HP Lab) and a routine pregnancy test (Php 200-500 depending on the brand from Mercury). You don’t want to hear my horror story about my new helper that was pregnant and was having a miscarriage on her 10th day on the job with me.
A basic dental check up is advised too. Poor dental hygiene may mean poor personal hygiene in general. It’s about time to teach yaya how to take care of herself because you expect her to be neat and clean whenever she’s with your baby.
Finally, do a chest x-ray (Php 1,000). Many Filipinos from all walks of life have TB or tuberculosis without any symptoms. And if she will be part of your household you don’t want her to be spreading the disease.
If all tests come out normal, then you made a good choice.
The final step to ensure baby’s safety healthwise is to vaccinate yaya against flu.
Remember she will be with the baby more than you. Why would you vaccinate yourself, your husband and the other kids but not the caregiver? Flu season peaks when the rains arrive so its best to be protected before that time comes. Flu vaccines are repeated every year. They are available in most clinics at Php 600/ shot.
Giving yaya a daily dose of Vitamin C 500mg may also boost her immune system and prevent the sniffles. Ritemed Ascorbic Acid 500mg (Php 1.43/tablet in Mercury) should be a reasonable choice.
So, you’ve done your homework, covered all bases… Relax. Trust your instincts but call the house every hour, just to be sure…