There is nothing worse than seeing your kids sick. On the morning of Braden's 1st birthday, he came down with the stomach flu and it was the absolute worst. After a full day of awful, I was on the phone with the Children's Hospital at 1:30am because he had a fever and had been throwing up since 11am. I was terrified that he was dehydrated. And in my sleep deprived state, I just wasn't sure that every symptom he had was normal. The next day, he was fine. He survived it and so did I. I thought we were out of the woods until 4 days later when my husband got hit. Then, 5 days later, Riley and I were down. It's been exhausting, but we are finally all healthy and getting back to normal.
I know. This isn't the most appealing of topics to launch into. But I promise you that I have some useful information to share so that, if/when this virus strikes your family, you can be fully prepared. You will avoid the terror of driving to the store with a ticking time bomb in the car seat behind you. And when you yourself come down with this nasty bug, you will have all the things you need to take care of yourself. You will obviously need any extra energy for chasing down your kids, who will inevitably be feeling 100% better while you are struggling to stand upright. Murphy's Law.
Speaking as a mother who has very recently gone through the horror of the stomach flu, I have learned one very important thing: I should always have a Stomach Flu Survival Kit handy.
What is a Stomach Flu Survival Kit, you ask? It's a simple combination of gentle foods, fluids, and cleaning supplies to get you through the worst of it in one piece.
Stomach Flue Survival Kit
- Gatorade and/or Pedialyte: For obvious reasons, this is a MUST. The stomach flu leaves you super dehydrated and getting fluids is important for recovery. For whatever reason, water always makes me feel worse in the early stages, so I drink Gatorade. Lemon-lime is my favorite.
- Saltine Crackers: This is one of the first foods I offer my kids once they have been OK (i.e. not throwing up) for at least 4 hours. We start with just 1 cracker every half hour or so.
- White Bread: Nothing tastes better than a slice of toasted white bread after eating next to nothing for an entire day. Easy on the tummy and more substantial than crackers, this will help bring you back to life a little!
- Plain, Unsweetened Apple Sauce: Take the white toast and dip it right in there for more gentle nutrients.
- Bananas: These usually don't happen until day 2, but they are another godsend!
- Plain Noodles (NOT whole wheat): Another day 2 item, plain noodles keep the blood sugar up and the tummy happy!
- Clorox Wipes: At the first sign of the stomach flu, I get to work wiping down every surface, light switch, door handle, chair, stool, sink, toilet...you get the idea. Also, these work well on a swiffer mop- just attach and clean away! Bleach is the ONLY thing that kills this virus, so it's a must!
- Rubber Gloves: Use them when you're doing laundry, cleaning, etc. It might buy you an extra day or two before you get sick!
- Garbage Bags: Duh. Does this even need an explanation?
- Fresh Flowers: This is on the list because I wanted a nice, even number, and because they always make me feel a little better. Even when I'm feeling absolutely rotten, the sight of fresh flowers does something to lift my mood!
The list is short, but all of these things are invaluable. Most of them keep well on the shelf, but keep the bread in your freezer until you need it. You can stick a frozen slice in the toaster and it will be perfect.
Do you have any other suggestions for the list? Or perhaps a link where I can buy a large bubble for my family to live in during peak sick-season? No? Darn.
Here's wishing you all a healthy winter! I hope this list saves some of you the unneeded headaches that come with the family getting sick. xo