Good Riddance!

Sorry about the long absence in blogging.  We were lucky enough to receive one of the most shared gifts of the season: the stomach flu.  Yes, from Mom and Dad to all three kids, we've each had the pleasure of admiring the floor of our bathrooms.  I'm just glad they were clean.  :)

So, what could I possibly write about this monster of a bug?  Don't worry...I'm not going into any details.  I just want to share with you a couple of pieces of advice that I have put to good use in the last week.  If any of you can use any of them, then it was well worth it.

1.  If you have a baby or toddler sleeping in a crib, please do this NOW!  Get at least three crib sheets and mattress protectors, and layer them so that you have three layers on your crib.  (Crib + mattress protector + sheet + mp + s + mp + s) If your child gets sick during the night, it is much easier to take off a layer than to completely recover their bed.  Plus, they go back to bed more quickly.

2. Wash your hands.  I know this is obvious, but a lot of people use hand sanitizer in place of soap and water.  Sanitizer does not kill the virus, but soap and water will at least wash the germs from your hands.  And, a recent study found that hot or cold water can be used to achieve the same results.

3. If any of your children complain of their tummy hurting, let them call the shots during meal times.  No, I'm not saying to let them have cookies for every meal.  But, if they don't feel like finishing a whole bowl of beef vegetable soup, don't force it.  Believe me...sometimes you just don't feel like eating.

4. After experiencing the bug, don't drink the water your body desires.  Give your stomach time to settle.  Drink only one tablespoon of room temperature water or diluted liquid every ten minutes.  After a couple of hours, you should be able to increase your intake.

5.  If available, take a phenergan when the time between vomiting has slowed to every 45 minutes. Take the prescribed amount just after vomiting, so that it has time to absorb. This will allow your stomach to settle, as well as give your body the rest it needs.

6. Children have a hard time knowing when they are going to vomit, so it is a great idea to cover their bed/couch with a towel or blanket that can be washed if it becomes soiled.

7. Lastly, there are some foods that you should really have at home at all times, just in case something like this happens to your family. These include crackers, bread (for toast), pop cycles, sports drinks, applesauce, bananas, rice, oatmeal, and broth soups. I did not have any Riptide Rush, and sometimes you just need purple Gatorade. We have a full supply now.

I hope some of this will help you to be prepared. The bug we experienced is very contagious, and seems to be most contagious up to the first day of showing signs of the virus. With this being the case, you can spread the virus without knowing you have it. Just wash your hands as often as possible, and try to eat well-balanced meals. For picky kids, or if your family doesn't always have those recommended servings of fruits and vegetables, there are plenty of vitamins available to keep your immune system strong.

Wishing you and your family a season of health!