If you have young children, chances are they will at some point bring home the dreaded stomach bug. It comes seemingly out of nowhere and usually shows its ugly self at night. (Whyyyy?!) Normally, the stomach bug is just a virus that has to run its course and there isn’t much that can be done . . . or is there?
Our household has had its fair share of the stomach bug, and we have some protocols in place for when it hits. Whether you call it the stomach bug, stomach flu, or stomach virus . . . there are ways to make the terrible time a little easier.
The Three “C”s for the Stomach Bug
This one helps keep the number of stomach bug casualties low. If your house allows, the sick person gets claim over one bathroom. He or she is the only one to use this bathroom and may not go into other bathrooms. We also try to keep the sick kiddo in one area. Find a comfortable spot with some entertainment so your child can rest and not be completely bored.
2) Clean Up
Containment helps lighten the cleaning load since you are focusing on certain areas. Keep a receptacle nearby in case your child is too sick or too young to make it to the bathroom in time. I like to use two plastic grocery bags in a small trash can. You can also put a paper towel in the bottom of the trash bag to help absorb some of the liquid and prevent leaks.
The comfy, easy-to-clean spot in our home is on the sectional in our living room. I like it because there is no carpet in that room, and I can keep a close eye on my child. The couch is covered with blankets for easy clean up in case of “misses.”
Cleaning supplies are kept close by, but out of reach of kids. Have gloves and appropriate disinfectant for the surfaces in your home on hand. Make sure all other family members are washing their hands well with soap and water before eating, cooking, or touching their faces.
You already have your child in a comfortable spot. But if you’re like me, you kind of freak out when someone starts vomiting. As the parent, keep your feelings to yourself and use calming, reassuring tones and words to your child. Encourage them to use the proper receptacles and if they miss, remind them that it’s okay. What’s important is that they rest and get well.
If you have medical concerns or questions, most pediatrician offices have a nurse line that you can call. This will give you comfort in knowing how to physically help your child through the stomach bug.
Luckily, these bugs are typically short-lived and the active illness is over in 24 hours. Hopefully, the three “C”s help ease your family the next time you deal with the awful stomach bug.