Well, it’s here. Right on schedule. It feels like it’s January 82nd by now (cause this month will never end…) and your kids have the virus that’s been going around. One kid gets sick… and then the next one. And then wait for it… yep, now Daddy’s down for the count with it. And even later that day you start to feel a little tickle in your throat and… sure, now you have it too. It’s happened. Your entire family has the flu or whatever gross virus is going around. And you all feel like poop smeared on a cracker. So, what do you do? Everyone is feeling awful, including you! This is a guide for keeping your sanity when the entire family gets sick.
First things first, this seems to happen to us every January. So, I know it’s coming. I don’t always get the virus, but this year I sure did. This particular year I got it the WORST of all of us and was ridiculously sick for almost 2 weeks.
The point is, it’s coming. Maybe I’ll get it, maybe I won’t. But you can bet your bottom dollar, the kids and Daddy are going down for the count some time around Christmas to early in the new year. So, knowing this ahead of time, I like to be prepared accordingly.
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Stock the Medicine cabinet:
Here are the items I like to have on hand at ALL times during the cold and flu season:
- Kid & Adult Tylenol
- Kid & Adult Motrin
- Kids Cough Syrup – night and day
- Adult Cough and Cold meds
- Nausea Meds for child and adult
- Essential oils – if that’s your thing
- Good, reliable thermometer – This is the one we use that I really like
- Ice Cream
- Canned soup
- Lysol wipes – I like the handy packs for carrying around!
- Disposable Gloves – excellent for barf clean up
Frozen Meals – Ready to go:
I love to have a few meals in the freezer, ready to go for whatever need pops up. It’s really convenient to have a few soups frozen and ready to warm up. I also like to have a few frozen pizzas on hand, and maybe a nice frozen lasagna and a casserole or two
My favorite soups to have in the freezer are:
- Beef Cabbage Soup
- Vegetable Beef Soup
- Chicken Noodle Soup (minus the noodles – they don’t freeze well!)
I try to have this entire list , ALL the time, to be fully prepared for cold and flu season. This last few weeks we all got the stomach flu for a week, were better for a week and then had a two week nasty flu/respiratory virus. And it took me down both times. Having supplies on hand came in very handy. You don’t want to be running to the store at 2 am when your kid’s fever is 104. You need to have those supplies ready to go at the tip of your fingers.
And nowadays, if you don’t have this stuff on hand, you can get SO much delivered from the drug store and grocery store! Make life easy, keep your germs at home, and order what you need online! Don’t go to the grocery store sick and spread the germs to other people.
Now that we have prepared, lets try to prevent!
Vitamins and Minerals:
I like to make sure I (and everyone at my house) is taking a multi-vitamin and probiotics every day. Especially during cold and flu season. I like to up the ante and add in a little extra vitamin C with orange juice, grape juice or veggie juice. It can’t hurt!
You might be able to avoid some sickness with a good cleaning and disinfecting routine at your house. During cold and flu season, keep everything wiped down with disinfectant wipes. Make sure everyone is washing their hands, a LOT. Make sure to keep the toys in the house washed as well.
If you Care, Don’t Share:
Don’t share drinks, food, utensils or plates. If your spouse gets the virus and you don’t have it (yet) try sleeping on the couch or another bedroom away from the germs for the best chance to avoid the virus. Plus, the sick partner can sleep in undisturbed peace and recover.
How to Disinfect Properly:
Lysol wipes are my best friend and I love them. I keep them in most rooms of the house so that I can grab them when needed. You can definitely use a cleaning spray if needed as well to disinfect and spot clean. Just do it often during this season.
Use the Dishwasher
Put the silverware, plates and cups through the dishwasher. Especially if the kids have been sick already. This helps disinfect and kill any lingering germs. Let the dishwasher give you a hand and keep the germs at a minimum.
If everyone gets sick, I get new toothbrushes for everyone. It’s not worth the chance that there are germs lurking on them. I just keep a stash under the sink, and we toss the old tooth brush and pick a new one when we get better.
Wash your towels and sheets on hot water cycles. This will help kill germs more than if you wash in cold water. I like to even wash comforters if everyone has been ill. It just freshens up everything and gets rid of germs at the same time.
Aright, we’ve prepared. We’ve prevented. And we’ve disinfected. We’ve washed all the things and we’ve done our best. But what do you do if the nasty virus gets you anyway?
Drink plenty of fluids and make sure your kids do as well. Little guys can get dehydrated way faster than adults, so make sure to watch out of them. If you have really small kids, make sure they are urinating at least every 6 hours. You do not want to mess around with dehydration.
Keep an eye on fevers. I had the hardest time with this last virus and the kids’ fevers. The fever would get crazy high and it was really difficult to get them down to a manageable level. Remember, you can always alternate Children’s Motrin and Children’s Tylenol for the kids every 2-3 hours. Just don’t exceed the time period of doses. Meaning… you can dose Motrin every 6 hours, so don’t give it to them in 4. Make sure to space it out.
For example, when your child wakes up at 8, give them Motrin. At 10:30-11:00 you could give them Tylenol. Then you can give more Motrin at 2:00. And more Tylenol at 5:00. You simply stagger the doses of meds to help them have better control on their fevers.
Make sure you write down (especially if you are sick too!) what time everyone gets meds and what the medicines are. I just put a piece of paper on the kitchen cabinet and keep track there. You want to make sure everyone gets meds on time and that you don’t give the meds too soon. And when you are sick, you need simple!
If your child does get too hot with fever, make sure to give them something cold to drink, take off any blankets, rub them with a cold wash cloth and administer the fever meds asap. If the temperature gets over 104 and stays there with medicine in their system, head to dr or ER immediately. My tolerance for fever isn’t much and I usually look for lots of improvement within one hour after I give meds. If we aren’t showing improvement (Or if the fever has gotten any higher at any point) within 30-45 minutes, I am getting us ready to go to some kind of doctor immediately.
Lay on the couch and rest. Try to keep the kids as low key as possible too. When my kids get this sick, they are flat out on the couch, so it’s no problem containing them. But don’t let them get too worked up running around for sure. Let them have lots of iPad time and lots of movie time on TV.
Ask for help:
If you are all truly down for the count, ask a family member or friend to help you out. Our GG came to the rescue for us these last few weeks. She didn’t even put on a hazmat suit, but I sure wouldn’t have blamed her if she did. She took care of my sick babies so HER sick baby (me!) could get better more quickly.
Snuggle up and Love On the Family
Lastly, just lay back and snuggle up with the kids and try to recover. I don’t want my kids to be sick ever, but I’ll take the cuddles that come with it. It’s not often that everyone can lay up on the couch and stay home and watch tv all day. So, when those days come along, just go with the flow and try to rest up and help your kids rest up.
Sure, you probably had a million things to do that day. But all those things will wait. Snuggling up your sick babies is way more important.
Wrap Up – Keeping Your Sanity When The Entire Family Gets Sick
Having a house full of sick people is no fun at all. And it may seem like the virus will never end. But it will. This too shall pass and everyone will feel good again. You will sleep through the night again. Everyone will stop coughing and barfing eventually. But when you are in it, just keep in mind to take the best care of everyone you can, and ask for help if you need it. Hopefully all these tips and tricks will give you leg up on keeping your sanity when the entire house gets sick.
Best of luck to you with the cold and flu season! Remember, just keep shuffling!
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