Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ways to avoid spreading what the kids drag home!

Here are a few strategies that I have used to help to keep the rest of my family healthy when one person gets sick.
  HINT: Be prepared for illnesses with a "Sick Bin". 
I have a large plastic tub with a lid that I always have stocked. It's stored in my laundry room where digging hands can't pilfer items from it easily and it contains the following items. 
  1. A 6 pack of regular Coca Cola- The syrup in Coca-Cola has an ingredient that helps settle stomachs.
  2. A 6 pack of Ginger Ale  
  3. 6 pack of 7-Up. All of these are in resealable glass bottles for small servings.
  4. A box of saltine crackers
  5. A package of soup/oyster crackers
  6. Cans of their favorite chicken noodle soups- They each have a different favorite. 
  7. An unopened container of disinfecting wipes.
By having this stocked and ready to go, when someone gets sick or God forbid I do,  I don't have to run to the store for supplies or send someone else out for them.
They are ready and waiting when I need them.
  • I become obsessive  about disinfecting anything that the sick person comes in contact with. Remote controls, switches, fridge handle, bathroom doorknobs. Everything that they touch gets sprayed and wiped down many times a day. 
  • If you touch anything that the sick person has handled wash your hands and use an aocohol based hand sanitizer. Items like dishes, glasses, remotes, sneeze cloths. 
1. If someone gets an intestinal virus and/ or stomach bug:
  • Make sure to disinfect the toilet seats and handles after every use by the sick person.  I use my mild bleach solution or lysol spray. 
  • Make sure that you wash their clothing, especially their underwear in a separate load of laundry with lots of bleach to kill all of the virus to prevent cross contamination in the washing machine. 
  • Make sure that the sick person washes their hands for 2 full songs of Happy Birthday after using the restroom. 
  • I line a small plastic bowl with a gallon size zip lock bag. Turning down the sides over the edges of the bowl. When they throw up it catches it all. I then dump the contents into the toilet and then just fold the sides up and zip it shut to throw away. Nothing to wash and contaminate anything else. When the kids were small I always kept zip lock bags in the glove box for car sick kids. Zip it shut and throw it away all contained and clean.
  • Keep a trash can with a garbage bag in it right in front of the toilet that the sick person will be using so that if they get sick to their stomach while on the toilet, there is something to catch it. I can't tell you how many messes I had to clean up before I started using this trick.
  • For small kids who have an intestinal or stomach bug,  I lay out a couple of trash bags on the floor then take a sleeping bag and lay it out on top of the plastic. I then cover the sleeping bag  with 3 or 4 beach towels. This way if an accident occurs, you just have to peel off the top layer or two of towel and put them back to sleep. Much easier to clean up than a real bed and mattress.  When they were really young I would place this sleeping mat by my bed. When they were older they wanted it to be in the hall outside the bathroom door.
  •  I never really quarantined my kids. I would make a bed on a couch and all the other kids had to stay at least 3 feet from that couch. If they wanted to be in their rooms, walkie talkies worked great for 2 way communications.
2. If someone gets a cold or respiratory flu.
  • Give them a large dishtowel to cough or sneeze into. It provides far better coverage and catching ability for germs than a small tissue does.  I put a small trash can with a garbage bag in it right next to the person who is sick. That way nose blowing tissues can go straight into the trash and no one else has to touch them.


JennyMac said...

Awesome tips!

smilinggreenmom said...

This is FANTASTIC!!!! I am a total germ-a-phobe too and had not thought of some of these tips :) Yay! I just love the sick are a thinkin woman! I am so hoping that we do not have to deal with any major flus or illnesses this winter during peak germ season. We have been taking our Vidazorb chewable probiotics (the kids take the kids chewable and I take the OPC) and so I am really hopeful that our immune systems will be super boosted! Thanks so much for this! I am gonna have to tweet it for sure :)

Emily said...

Excellent tips! Boy, do I dread these kid illnesses, but keeping things obsessively clean helps me feel like I can at least control how much it spreads! Thanks for the list, this is really good advice.