10 Tips for When the Dreaded Sickness Bug Hits

Picture this, one happy and content Mother, placing her head down on her comfy pillow on a Friday night. Sighing, she is so thankful that it is Friday night and excited at the thought of the weekend, especially as the next day it was date night. It was much much needed. Forward to 3am, I am thrust awake by the sound of whinging, I turn to my side and see my 4 year old Son with vomit pouring out of his mouth. In the flash of that moment, the joyous feeling of the weekend and the excitement vanished. Dread ensued. 

Now, I'll let you into one of my phobias. Sick. I have always, from a very young age, despised being sick. If I ever felt sick as a child, I would have my Mum sit on my bed and hold my hand while I would violently shake. I sometimes wasn't even sick, just the thought would have me full of fear and shaking. With my soon to be 3 year old, the morning sickness was so horrendous, it actually helped to shift my fear a lot.... but I think that was only temporary. The last sickness bug that I caught was just over 2 years now. Soon after that one I did some research into sickness bugs, every time that I heard there was one going around the school, I would do more research. March, last year my Husband and the 4 year old caught a very nasty bug. I remember crying then I remember turning to all of the bookmarked pages I had on my phone. I then picked up some habits and tips and tricks that meant that myself and the 2 year old didn't catch it. 

So dread ensued on Saturday morning and then I darted out of bed and ran downstairs for the bin bags. I knew what to do. I was on it. 

I am going to save you all some time, time I have spent in a sweaty palmed state, trawling the internet for the same advice for hours. I will sum up some things I have learnt or implemented in my household that may just help you when the dreaded sickness bug hits your house. Please note- I can not at all guarantee that I can stop the bug in its tracks, these are just tips to help maintain your house whilst the bug is around. 

1. Panic. Just for a moment, panic and grieve for your freedom as you will now be a prisoner to your home. Just allow yourself 2 minutes to panic and then breathe. Send husband/ go for/ order supplies. Cleaning supplies will need to be massively topped up, like kitchen towel and bleach. Also get essentials like bread and milk incase the worse happens and everyone goes down with it. Thank goodness for online shopping. 

2. If this is an inconvenient time to do any washing (i.e 3am in the morning) place any soiled clothing or bedding into bin bags ready for a hot wash in the morning. I tend to do washing at 60 when germs are around. Alongside this tip, make sure you wash all bedding and towels over the next few days. Whomever is poorly should have their own towels to use for the duration of the bug. I try to keep on top of the washing during the bug length, so I basically change the sick person at least twice a day and place their clothing on a hot wash. I also like to wash our clothes more frequently and on a hotter wash, too. My plan is that once the 48 hours after the last symptom is over, to re wash bedding and towels as germs can last on surfaces for a long time after. I also have Dettol detergent which I put into every wash too, to help kill off the germs. 

3. Try to get the sick person to use a separate bathroom or toilet than everyone else, where possible. I also like to keep some bleach, clothes, cleaner and gloves in close proximity for keeping on top of the cleaning of the bathroom. 

4. Make sure everyone washes their hands. All of the time. Every time you pass the toilet, touch what the child has touched, before you eat or prepare food- wash your hands. Although anti-bacterial gels are great when out and about and there's not a lot else, nothing can beat the soap and hot water combination at home. This is what will kill the germs. 

5. My kids are too young to be contained to their bedroom, but my eldest has been on the one sofa (thankfully it's one with a wipeable surface) whilst the rest of us has used the other one. 

6. On day 1 of the bug, I disinfect everything. We have some disposable gloves- I highly recommend having a supply of these as they are so handy to have. So, I place these on with clothes I don't mind ruining, I then find an empty spray bottle and make up a solution of bleach and water. I then get an everyday house hold cleaner and a couple of cloths. I put my washing in, then I go around the house spraying every hard surface, the phones, switches, light switches, door handles etc. I spray once with bleach solution, then again with every day cleaner. Usually I leave the toilets until last and then I make a little stock pile of things that I'll need to clean the toilet more frequently. Then you know by the end of the first day that everything is sterile, clean and washed. Now it is about maintaining. 

7. Maintain the germ free zone by frequently wiping down any surfaces that may have been contaminated. Every morning since Saturday, I have woken up and wiped down any surfaces my Son's water bottle has been on, the lounge coffee table, dining room table, both toilets, both sinks and the kitchen sink and sides. I then do more spray when needed. I also have been maintaining hot washes of clothing, towels and bedding. 

8. Some great friends of mine informed me of this Dettol Spray. It is an amazing spray that you can spray on both soft and hard surfaces, it leaves a mist and dries naturally. I have been spraying this around the house about twice a day at the moment. 

9. As for the sickness bug that has taken over your child, rest rest rest. I tried not to press fluids to start with as they weren't even keeping down and once he was ready for fluids, we had to take it at a very slow pace- so frequent sips. Once his stomach could handle that, we then could increase how much he was having. Food is still a massive issue though currently and we are on day 4 of not really eating! 

10. As you can imagine, it has not been a particularly fun 4 days so far with us and I very much feel like naming the ball outside Wilson. The almost 3 year old is driving me up the wall as he is just as bored being cooped up like me, only I don't behave badly when I have been cooped up. I just cry and get moody. So, my saving grace has been phone calls. Phone a friend! And I have found quiet moments to do some spring cleaning and de-cluttering amongst the taking care of the children, disinfecting and washing. Find that silver lining of going mentally insane locked up in your own home.

At the moment (and I am petrified my luck is running out) only 1 of 4 of us have gotten the bug. Whether that would have been the case anyway, who knows, but the tips have helped me gain control in what can otherwise be a horrible, draining, exhausting experience. If anyone else was to come down with it too, I feel like I am on the ball to deal with it and to try and contain those germs once again. 

Now I have to re-start the 48 hours as my Son has been sick once again this afternoon. All I can hope is that he may start eating and getting some energy as I do hate seeing my little man so poorly. I hope these tips and tricks may come in some use for you all. The one thing I read when I did my research is that usually you catch something like this from ingesting the bug from sick or the other end, so for me that meant being very cautious when the bug is around and keeping on top of hygiene and cleanliness. Sometimes, it can be unavoidable and heck, I still have time before I feel 'Safe' but the tips have helped me to know that my house is as clean and germ free as it can be right now and it is handy to keep on top of it incase the rest of us comes down. 

Do you have any handy tips or tricks for when the sickness bug hits your household? Did you find this blog post handy? If so then please do give it a share around- someone you know may just well be at their wits end! 

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