Keeping your family healthy in your first home

May 11, 2020 | by HC Mutual

Every Filipino deserves to enjoy comfortable and worry-free lives in their own homes. Your living space is where you nurture and
share milestones with your family, which is why it is important that your home is equipped to protect you and your loved ones from
disease and illness.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed evidence-based recommendations on housing and health to make sure your
home is safe and healthy. Check out these guidelines to know what to look for while house-hunting or updating your home.

Regulate indoor temperature
With our country’s hot climate, we need to be mindful of indoor temperatures. If your home runs too hot, you risk dehydration, heat stroke, and other pulmonary disease. It may also affect sleep quality and the immune system, especially for children and the elderly. To help cool down, WHO recommends proper ventilation (and taking advantage of the night air), window shades, green spaces, and thermal insulation.

Prevent household crowding
This aspect of housing covers the size and capacity of your home. Studies show that crowding may increase the risk of disease, sleep disorders, and stress. Before choosing or building your home, it is best to take your family’s numbers into consideration.

Remove injury hazards
Globally, about a third of injuries occur at home. However, you can minimize this risk by freeing your space of hazards like uneven flooring and steps, inadequate lighting, and unprotected hot surfaces. Prevent home injuries by adding gates and stoppers on your stairs, guards on stoves, and child-safety locks on your doors and windows. It is also best to inspect your floors to make sure that they aren’t too slippery especially when wet.

Make your home accessible
An accessible environment can help persons with disabilities enjoy better health, accomplish everyday tasks easier, and improve their quality of life. You can start by adding hand railings, ramps for stairs, safety frames on your toilets, and push/pull door handles. You can also rearrange your furniture for easier access or adjust indoor lighting, depending on each room or family member’s specific needs.

Have clean water at hand
Access to clean water is one of the most important things to consider when moving into your home. It is optimal to have at least one water supply and multiple taps within the house to sustain hydration, prepare food, and maintain personal hygiene.

Improve indoor air quality
Damp and dusty surroundings, food preparation, and smoking can pollute your home’s air, which may then lead to a weakened immune system, allergies, and disease. To combat these risks and to improve air quality, it is recommended to have proper ventilation, prevent smoking indoors (especially around children), and to keep your living spaces clean.

A happy and carefree life begins with good health. Cherish your loved ones by making sure your first home is up to standard and conducive to the well-being of the whole family.

Source: WHO Housing and Health Guidelines (2018)


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