Do you remember the time before kids, when you were able to go to bed for as long as it took for you to recover? WELL THOSE DAYS ARE OVER SOLDIER!
Now you are a parent, getting sick is a luxury that you can ill afford (see what I did there?!) Prevention is KEY!
I VIVIDLY remember the first time I got sick as a parent. That was the first time it hit me that my life had fundamentally changed, because it didn’t matter that I felt like crap .. I had to keep on going, because I had a baby.
Tom was 8 weeks old and we had gone on a family trip to Ikea – you know like you do – I had to change his nappy, so I took him into the baby change and the smell that I was greeted with STILL sticks in my mind (11 years later!). As a seasoned mother and veteran sick bug survivor I would now turn on my heel (the smell of a baby’s nappy with a tummy bug is VERY DISTINCTIVE).
But alas as a new mum, I did not know this…
I dutifully change his nappy and then 24 hours later all HELL broke lose! Not only did Tom (as an 8 week old) catch gastro-enteritis, but I also caught it. I remember crawling on my belly to get to his room I was so sick. At one point we were being sick at the same time!
OH GOD THE HORROR!!
Thank god my parents only lived about 20 minutes away and were able to come and make a mercy dash at 5am in the morning!
Well three kids (and numerous sick bugs, viruses and bugs later) I have come up with a few must dos when someone brings germs into the house. I follow these every time someone gets sick and the majority of the time it means we are able to contain it and stop it ripping through the whole family like we are a set of dominoes!
- Quarantine the patient! Now I know that you might get some complaints from the kids about this! And this will be an awful lot easier with older ones who know why it is happening. BUT YOU MUST TRY YOUR BEST! It is for the greater good! If one of them is contagious with a sick bug or similar (just for the record I am NOT this strict with things like coughs and colds! ?) then they need to be kept away from everyone else. I don’t mean put them in a room with nothing to do ? Ipads, a TV moved into their room … lots and lots of books, colouring books, puzzles etc are what you need! A nice little side effect from this method is that my boys now know that if they are trying to pull a sickie and get out of school then they will be confined to their room for the day – soon makes them think twice!
- Clean like you have never cleaned before. Germs and bugs are sneaky little buggers, so you need to make sure that you stay one step ahead! For example the norovirus can be passed on by ingesting some particles of the virus (this is a very very small amount that is naked to the eye!!). So if you touch an infected door handle or tap and then put your fingers to your mouth then you may be next in line! You need to counter act this by making sure that the ill person stays in one place (see point 1) and only uses one bathroom. If you only have one bathroom in your house then make sure you clean the bathroom well after each use – rubber gloves are a must!
- Clean things that get touched often – light switches, TV remote controls, door handles, telephones etc.
- Alcohol hand gel is your friend. If you are looking after a sick child then you will need to make sure that you try and stop the spread. Use alcohol hand gel regularly.
- Get some Dettol All In One Spray. This is my secret weapon!! It takes seconds to use, smells fresh and doesn’t need wiping off.
- Wash your hands OFTEN and encourage your kids to do the same.
- Make sure you have provisions wine/gin/chocolate/box sets … whatever it is that will cheer YOU up at the end of a day of playing nurse … THIS IS A MUST!