What is it about tummy bugs that get a mom all FREAKED out? Is it the dirty sheets and projectile vomit in the carpets or is it the fact that we have no control over it and feel such a deep sense of helplessness watching our children throw up until they are convulsing. It’s probably a bit of both right?
It seems we just ended the rounds of a bad gastro bug last week (truth is it was in March) and here we are again dealing with vomit by the bucket loads (GAG). Again we find ourselves on our hand at knees at 1,2 and 4 am scooping up vomit with Carlton roll and ripping sheets off the bed. We have (Kind of) accepted that we are prone to these kids of bugs which sucks, but the good news is we have become experts! And so i want to share my wealth of buggy knowledge with you. Here are some tips to make dealing with a bug and keeping germs a little more contained.
1. From the moment the first family member gets hit WASH WASH WASH. Take extra care with washing hands and cleaning up infected areas. While we tend to think “If one gets it, the rest of us will” It doesn’t have to be the case. Use disinfectant as much as you can and encourage kids to wash their hands.We have all been taught this but sometimes we need to be reminded of how important it is to avoid germs spreading.
2. Tell the kids not to kiss, hug or share food. This is the NUMBER ONE problem in our house. Two little boys who love each other so much they can’t keep away from each other. Our eldest was pretty good with not touching Brody this time (Brody was hit first) but just as we thought it was all over and allowed them to carry on as usual, Noah caught it. Symptoms often appear once its too late. So hold out and try separate kids for as long as possible. Try a “No touching” (at least kissing) rule for two days and at all costs avoid the sharing of cutlery and juice bottles.
3. Always keep a large bucket near the bed. I repeat ALWAYS keep a large bucket near the bed! The bigger the better for obvious reasons. Be prepared for the worst and be ready to take turns emptying and disinfecting the bucket (CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN!!) We even took extra precaution and put a BIG plastic bowl next to him on the bed just incase he couldn’t get the bucket in time. Trust me, even when you think the worst is over, keep that little golden bucket there.
4. Cover the bed they are sleeping in with a big sheet and put Towels over the pillows. Our boys sleep with us when they are sick (most of the time) We prefer it that way – to be there for them and keep an eye on them and to help them when they wake up getting sick. It’s scary for them! So we cover our entire king sized bed with a sheet and then even put towels over the pillows. This saves a lot work when they miss the bucket and it lands up all over the bed, all that you have to do is pop the towels into the washing machine and replace them with cleans ones. instead of changing duvet and pillow covers three times a night.
5. Always, ALWAYS face them outwards on the end of the bed. When the first spray hit Noah was sleeping in the middle and without warning he threw up all over the pillow, half my back and head. its was a sight i tell ya. After cleaning up and realising what we were dealing with we put all the other factors in place and put him on the one end. While last night became a bit of a logistical nightmare with me being wedged in the middle and having to deal with hot feet (Its horrible not being able to give your feet air when you are in the middle!) and making sure i wasn’t facing him any point (i had this horrible picture in my head of him puking in my face) it was the best we made of a bad situation. AND we didn’t have to wash five sets of bedding this morning.
6. Always Have valoid suppositories in the house for emergencies. These little things work wonders in most cases especially if your child can’t keep anything down. Please always remember to make sure you use the correct dosage. We we very close to giving Noah 50 mg which should only be used for 6 years and up.
7. Keep rehydrate next to the bed. They will probably not want to eat anything but its important to keep them hydrated (even if they keep throwing up) Having something to actually throw up (that’s not bile) will help get rid of whatever is causing all the havoc. The berry one is delicious and you can even add a little fruit juice if they find the state too salty. Keep encouraging them to drink, eating is not vital at this point.
8. Say goodbye to your no TV rules. I don’t know if you read this post when i declared a “No TV week” but in these situations i say let them do whatever makes them comfortable. Doing puzzles and reading books when you feel like that? No thank you. Allow them to recover with a bit of easy distraction and remind them its only for one day. it gives them a sense of being special and treated like a patient. If they feel like it later, by ll means give the puzzles a go.
Once you have followed all these steps, there’s really nothing left to do that wait it out. While I’m no doctor (so please trust your instincts if its worse than a normal 24 hour bug and go to you doctor) these things usually work their way out of their system. It’s one of the worse sicknesses because it’s so disruptive and messy but it’s really important to keep calm, see to your child and treasure them that you are there for them and that they WILL get better.
At 3am this morning as we were resettling for the 3rd time we stroked our sons face and began our family mantra “Im strong and I’m brave, I’m strong and I’m brave, I’m strong and I’m brave” And despite the fact that they can seem so fragile, that’s exactly what they are.