Walking on thin ice!

By Ann Wambui

“Winter” is here! July. The coldest month on the calendar. Prices of jackets, scarves, warm gloves and the likes shoot up like shooting stars. Yes! I say “winter” because these temperatures for us here in Kenya are just above the usual.

The cold breath that escapes the mouth and breeze in the mornings that has for weeks now led Kenyans be-friend beverages and strayed from freeze and shine.

Leaving home for work at 5:30am to reach the office on time, while bracing myself with a trench coat, socks and gloves despite the official killer outfit because it is 15 degrees celsius.

On the way to the bus station, I pass-by boys and girls going to school hoping to be in class before the teacher on duty gets to call the register for morning prep. These young students have nothing warm on them except the school uniform while on the other side of the road I see guardians wrapped up in sweaters and Maasai “shukas” while their little grab tight on them as they wait for a school bus.

The irony in that image led me into a monologue. How warm do we dress our children when they leave for school in the morning? Are we aware that sicknesses could arise from being exposed to such cold temperatures? Is it that some schools do not allow pupils into the school compound with home sweaters?

I do not understand how that works yet we keep ourselves warm first before thinking about how that cold could impact the children. (By default, this does not apply to all guardians). I would like to think that we ought to keep children’s needs before ours at least that is what I picture parenting is like.

July is just weeks from ending but all this can change because it does not have to be for this month only, but a trend throughout the year. Importance? Less visits to the clinic or pharmacies to buy flu medicine or in serious cases, Pneumonia.

Considering that Pneumonia remains number one killer of children under five years as it was noted during the annual World Pneumonia Day in 2017 and echoed by Save The Children officials who had feared the numbers to be higher than the estimated 22,000 as a result of the recent doctors’ and nurses’ strike of 2017. (Business Daily; November 9, 2017)

Putting a warm cloth over your little gem will go a long way especially because some kids   actually get home late during or after sunset. Dusks can be quite chilly at times in Nairobi with unpredictable weather patterns due to the on-going flips with global warming.



Photo Courtesy; Ann Wambui

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