Monday, 7 December 2015

Surviving the Lurgy

Lily and Alexander have been poorly for almost a fortnight now. They seem to stagger their illnesses; one week one will be out of action and will be better by the time the other starts getting a lurgy.
I have been thinking about what a parent or caregiver needs in order to survive a household full of sick children.



Medicine

Be prepared. I have a medical box stored at the top shelf in a cupboard which holds a variety of plasters, antihistamines, bandages, sachets and bottles of Calpol and/or Baby Nurofen which seems to work better for bringing temperatures down.



Support

Sometimes it is hard enough having one child at home due to sickness but having two poorly kids can leave you pulling your hair out and possibly covered in all kinds of bodily fluids. If you have friends or family nearby who could run errands for you, whether it be more nappies and wipes, more baby sleepsuits or even for an extra tall coffee, then that could make your day a teeny bit easier. I often just have to plough on through the day until Rob gets home. When cabin fever gets too much, if the kids are okay to tolerate a ride in the pushchair, wrap them up well in cold weather and enjoy the fresh air which could do you all some good, even if it temporarily could induce coughing fits as Lily had at the weekend.

Cleaning up

So your kids have a sickness bug and it is pretty important to keep your surfaces as clean as possible to avoid transfer of bacteria and fingers crossed you don't get ill yourself. Use an alcohol-free disinfectant such as NatraSan at every opportunity; wipe down highchairs, toilets, taps and sinks. Consider what your child touches and give it a wipe down, including door handles. Small children aren't adept at covering their mouths when coughing or washing their hands thoroughly so disinfecting their cot bars or bed frame after they have been sick during the night can really help stop spread any germs.
Keep packets of tissues around the house for easy nose-wipes, mop-ups and also to encourage your children to blow their nose if they have a streaming cold, or their sleeves will inevitably get a good coating.
Wash contaminated bedding and towels at 60degrees C to kill off as much of the bacteria as possible. Your washing machine and dryer may need a bit of a break once the kids are better as it will be used a lot!

NatraSan; a non-stinging solution suitable for use on cuts and grazes, acne and even Athlete's Foot. It can even be used as a mouthwash and of course can disinfect surfaces. It is a versatile sanitising product which is 99.9999% effective at killing Norovirus, C. Difficile and MRSA, which beats antibacterial products such as Dettol. Its active ingredient is hypochlorous acid (HClO) which is a thoroughly efficient biocide. Since it is the same chemical produce by our immune systems to kill invasive organisms and fight infections it is completely safe for human use. You may not think that is suitable for use around sensitive areas such as the eyes and mouth by smelling it, but it surprisingly is. It is quite a multi-purpose product; I can even use it to refresh Rob's walking boots!

Entertainment

For you and the children. Phones are usually within arms reach of parents, if not already in a pocket. This could provide you with some entertainment whilst you are stuck under a sleeping child who will not tolerate being put down. Sometimes they just need a cuddle and warmth from their parent, so just enjoy these moments and cater to their needs. Lily likes to watch a DVD when she is poorly, but for Alexander it is a lot more difficult. He ends up clinging to me like a koala, so I often wear him in a ring sling so if he falls asleep he is comfortable and never far from me.



Food and drink

As a primary caregiver to sick children it is pretty important that you don't neglect your own needs. Eat well when you get a moment to yourself and keep hydrated, even if you have to microwave a cold cup of tea about five times. You could well become ill yourself, so you need to keep your strength up because sods law, once the kids are back to their usual mad, energetic selves, you will still be expected to carry on as normal even if you feel like death warmed up. Young kids don't make allowances, how mean of them!





Always remind yourself that they will back to their normal, happy healthy selves soon and if you feel like pouring yourself a large wine or eating the majority, if not all of a large Toblerone by the time they have successfully gone to sleep, then go for it!








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