I was not planning on writing a post about this nasty subject anytime soon, but, unfortunately, it’s what we are dealing with today.
So since I’m quarantined in the house and pretty much relegated to laundry and bleaching surfaces, I thought I’d share the things I have learned over the years (besides asking the elders to come pray over my kids :-)) about this icky topic.
1-Stomach virus germs spread fast so keep them under control!!!
I know this doesn’t seem like a big tip, but for me it has changed the “order of operations” for dealing with theses viruses. Do you remember in math class-“P.lease E.xcuse M.y D.ear A.unt S.ally”? If you went out of order everything could go wrong even if you had all the correct components.
Our early attempts to overcome this kind of yuckiness were total FAILS.
Oh I had the components. I knew enough to abide by the sacred “BRAT diet” (bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast). I knew that I needed to offer electrolyte solution. I knew I needed to clean up the mess. But in the early years I was getting the ORDER all wrong. I would panic that my children were getting dehydrated and give the food or drink too soon and trigger more vomiting. That, of course, would trigger more germs which would then spread and we’d all end up sick. I would end up with a pile of laundry the size of The Rockies and not just a couple of hills.
It was so sad one year when we got the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stay one night at the beautiful Animal Kingdom Lodge with some of our best friends, but ended up dealing with 24-hours of vomiting instead.
Regretfully, at the first sign of a problem I began racing to heal my baby and I did it ALL WRONG! I started trying a little white rice, a little ginger ale, a little gatorade; I was DESPERATE TO fix the problem and get back to the fun. What I was really doing was messing with my little one’s poor tummy and making it worse! We went through about a dozen towels and half-a-dozen sets of sheets! PLEASE LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES!
After a night of misery, I surrendered that our Disney Dreams for the next day were not going to be realized and I called the pediatrician. The nurses instructed me to stop giving my child anything (food or water) for two hours so that her stomach could calm down. Then I was told to reintroduce the electrolyte solution 1 tsp at a time every 15 minutes (as long as there was no more vomiting) to begin rehydrating her. If she did okay with that for a few hours then I could move on to more frequent fluids, and then the BRAT diet.
The prescription worked and that’s the order I have followed ever since: I always wait a few hours from the first episode before offering any food or drink. Then give small sips at a time with 15 minute breaks in between sips.
(Please contact your own health care provider for your own circumstances; dehydration can be very serious).
All I’m saying is I learned that trying to immediately use food and drink to FIX the virus or address hydration was NOT the way to go.
(I’m just a mom, not a doctor OK?)
The moral: in order to rehydrate your child you could be stimulating more vomiting, increasing the spread of germs in your house, and putting other family members at risk.
2-Probiotics are AMAZING!!!
These “good” germs are becoming so much more readily available. I used to have to drive 20-45 minutes to get good quality probiotics. But now we can usually find some at our local grocery or pharmacy store. A good quality probiotic can help the sick member of your family get back to health a little more quickly. Equally important, the healthy members of your family can take them according to the instructions on the label and build up a layer of protection from the vile germs that are trying to take over your home! We try to keep them on hand for these emergencies at all times. If we could afford it, we’d take some everyday, but for now we take them at the first sign of a friend or family member getting sick.
Today we all took our probiotics and as soon as my sicky had survived several hours without any vomiting episodes, I gave her a spoonful of applesauce with probiotics mixed in. She kept it down and began acting more like herself within a few hours.
3-A solution of bleach and water in a spray bottle is your new best friend!!!
I learned this little tip from my children’s preschool. Preschools have very strict guidelines to keep the germs to a minimum. At ours, each teacher always has a spray bottle with bleach and water for emergencies. In addition, each bathroom has a bottle for accidents that often occur.
When I was ripped from sleep at 4 am last night I was so grateful that I had my spray bottle ready to go for an (almost) mindless clean up of floors, light switches, and counters.
4-Wash away the germs!!!
Another pretty obvious one, but I mean GO WILD with washing. At the first sign of puke, my husband instinctively jumped in the shower and I started the laundry. Once he was out, I jumped in. Wash, wash, wash your hands, wash them till their clean….
Allow the sick kid to use only 1 bathroom in the house to limit the spread of germs.
What are your tips for getting over a stomach virus? Or helping your kids cope?