Its the middle of the night and you hear the dreaded sound, “Mom, I just puked!” or from the younger ones, confused crying and sounds of vomiting. You rush out of bed and know you are in for the long haul. Gastrointestinal illness, in my opinion, comes with some of the most challenging symptoms to handle, especially when you have multiple children.
In our family we’ve developed a game plan to fight the nasty symptoms and the aftermath that comes with stomach viruses. Here are a few tactics we use to win against the GI bugs!
1) Mentally prepare that everyone in the house will likely have the symptoms, its just a matter of time. Life seems to stop when we are dealing with puke and everyone needs to be 100% in the game to make it through. Especially when it hits the adult(s).
2) Protect your flooring in case of an accidental vomit “miss”. We employ old towels and blankets and lay them all over the floors, around the beds and crib, in the hallways, living room, and furniture. This will benefit you in the middle of the night if another child wakes up with it. Its much easier to do laundry than clean puke out of carpet, fabric, and crevices of hard surfaces. We keep these covers laid out until everyone is in the clear.
3) Managing active puke. At each age and stage, our kids deal with vomiting a bit differently. From 0-2, we pretty much follow them around with a bowl to hopefully catch them in the act. From 3-5, they are getting used to the sensation before it happens so they can manage their own bowl if they can’t get to the toilet. Bowl stays near them at all times. After age 5, they are pretty independent at running to the bathroom in time, though they still get the precautionary bowl.
4) Cleaning up, what works? Bedding and clothes: scrape the chunks first, then launder. Carpet and upholstery: scrape the chunks, rinse the residue, and treat with “NATURE’S MIRACLE™ Pet Stain & Odor Remover. This product is available at many pet stores and online and is used to clean and deodorize a variety of pet messes and works better than anything we’ve ever tried against puke.
5) Be thankful that these symptoms, while they come on strong and make life really tough, they are usually over fairly quickly and hopefully don’t come around more than once or twice a year.
Image used under Creative Commons License -Flickr user Lauren Kerns – 01/14/2015