I’m trying to not barricade my family indoors, especially now that my youngest has been diagnosed with flu B. My kids are involved in various activities and church groups. In our circles, we currently have friends with the stomach bug, flu, friends with strep, and friends with respiratory infections. It’s the rough time of year when so many people get sick. With a large family, it can take a while for things to cycle through. Over the years, I have come up with a few ways to help keep my sanity when the kids get sick. With my personality, I feel so much better when we are prepared for things that life throws our way.
First off, I dread stomach bugs. We had one when kid #4 was a baby that knocked our family out for over 2 weeks! It was brutal and everyone was so sick for several days each. I’ve taken to keeping a stockpile of gatorade, crackers, applesauce, and gingerale on hand just to be prepared at all times. During that illness, I was also sick and had so many sick littles that I wasn’t able to get to the store, so I always stay prepared now.
We carry gallon size ziplock bags in our cars so that way if someone gets car sick or something strikes suddenly, it’s easy to zip up and toss at the next trash can. If you’ve ever cleaned a mess out of a carseat, you know how awful that can be. This is a game changer! I like to keep disposable vomit bags in the house so I don’t have to clean up bowls or trash cans or the toilet. These just twist and toss. So much easier than having a mess everywhere and helps prevent spreading of the virus.
For the flu, we keep lots of lysol and bleach spray stocked so at any moment we can clean without having to run to the store. At the first sign of anything, I also switch out the hand towels in the bathroom with paper towels. We have found that this simple thing has helped keep viruses from spreading. When someone is sick, multiple times a day, I will go through the house and spray things down with lysol or bleach.
Oscillococcinum is kept on hand for use when needed. Elderberry spray and vitamin C is doled out every morning during flu season around here as well. I like the elderberry spray because I can just line the kids up and spray everyone. It tastes like raisins so no one complains.
Whoever has the flu or stomach bug gets isolated to one area of the house and assigned one bathroom. No one else other than mom or dad are allowed to be around that child.
I can’t always run a kid right to the doctor with every sore throat, so thankfully we are able to grab strep test kits off of Amazon. They are fairly reasonably priced and work great! I’ve confirmed strep with one of my children with this test kit, made an appointment and doctor confirms! It has also save us from going when it was just a sore throat.
One thing that we have fortunately been spared from this far is lice. I’ve heard so many horror stories from other large families that have dealt with it, so we try to be proactive. We use Rosemary Repel from Fairy Tales when we are around large groups of kids or when the kids are involved in plays and such. Anything where everyone is close together and fixing hair. So far, so good!
These are things that we keep on hand at our house to try and keep the family healthy. Of course, please check with your doctor to make sure these suggestions are right for your family.
Handwashing and staying home when sick is the best way to prevent spreading germs or catching viruses. Lysol works well, but doesn’t get every virus, so using bleach or hydrogen peroxide to clean is important for our family.
Wipe down everything! Remotes, buttons on the garage door clicker, washing machine controls, fridge handles, iPads and other devices. Anything that can’t be wiped down, put in the sun for a few days. Spray the couch with lysol if the fabric allows. Change sheets. Throw away toothbrushes.
In addition, when we are around large groups of people, we will come home, shower and change clothes, put our clothes right into the wash, and then spray lysol in the car. Maybe this is overkill, but any illness can knock our family of 7 out for weeks by the time it’s done. We’ve been there and it’s not fun.
Also keep in mind that many times, you are still contagious with a virus even when you feel better. Don’t let your guard down too soon!
Do you have any tips or suggestions on how you keep your family healthy?