I am not leaving my house until the stomach flu season is over. (It is a season, right?) This year I am keeping my kids quarantined as much as possible. My children’s sanitary habits are questionable at best. I can get them to wash their hands all day long, but when I catch one of them eating a fruit snack off the floor in a public restroom or licking the bottom of my flip-flop (both true stories) there is no hope for a virus free life.
This winter we are in lockdown and attempting to avoid this nasty bug at all costs. We are not visiting any public playlands or germ infested areas. (I mean, yes, they are still going to school. Kids gotta learn.) Call it what you wish: germaphobic behavior, living in fear of the plague or simply a genius mother hacking the flu season like a boss.
Every time I check Facebook I am bombarded with stories of friends who’s families have been throwing up and it’s terrifying. I want to grab a gas mask and hide in my closet.
The Norovirus ripped through my house last year and it was…something. Let’s just say it was “something.” All four kids simultaneously contracted the virus within the same hour over the weekend and they went down like dominos. All I remember is everything moving in slow motion. I sat on the floor for hours watching every move that my twin toddlers and elementary school boys made in an effort to catch the slightest forewarning of when it was going to hit again. (Which was every 12 minutes on the nose.) I huddled them all in one room, lined the floor and surfaces with towels, distributed puke bowls to all and braced myself. It was horrendous and I think I might have stomach flu post traumatic stress disorder from the experience. (I know that is not a real thing, I’m being dramatic.)
However, like all major life events (this counts as a major life event, right?) I live and learn from the experience. I am better for it in the end and will be better prepared for the next time. Because as much as I want to keep my family in a bubble, that’s just not in the cards. We will puke again. And again. And probably again.
So, in a effort to avoid having to race to the store for supplies with a ticking time bomb in the backseat, now I have a stomach flu survival kit at the ready. Here are a few essentials that get me through it.
These are actually the sanitary medical bags you can find in your local clinic or hospital. You can buy them on Amazon. They are flat, easy to store and simple for children to use in a pinch. I keep one in my bag in the car at all times and in my purse when I travel with my children. Is that weird?
These are handy because they are washable like a towel, but also waterproof. It’s a perfect little mat to lay on a bed or couch or any surface that your child is laying on while sick.
Pedialyte Freezer Pops are a kid approved way to quickly replenish lost fluids and electrolytes to help prevent dehydration and help them feel better fast. Just freeze and you’re ready to go. They are available in a variety of flavors and each box includes: Grape, Blue Raspberry, Cherry, and Orange. You can find them at several locations including CVS, Walgreens or Target. (Pedialyte Freezer Pops are not for use for children under 1 year of age.)
- Saltine Crackers
This is to go-to entry food after the stomach flu has hit our house. I make sure I have this stocked in the pantry at all times. As stated on Wikipedia: Used as a home remedy, saltines are consumed by many people in order to ease nausea and to settle an upset stomach. If Wikipedia says it, it must be true.
- Clorox Wipes
The minute someone gets sick in my house I break out the Clorox Wipes and immediately start wiping down all door handles, light switches, drawer knobs and any other surface that my child has come into contact within the last 24 hours. I buy these suckers in bulk.
- New Toothbrushes
Don’t ever forget this step. Blechhhhh. Whenever I see toothbrushes on sale at the store I grab a bunch to keep in my survival kit.
Good luck and may the force be with you my friends. You got this.