Oh, my poor sweet little man. Flu season hit him already. It hit him hard.
Last week, I thought I had a brutal case of food poisoning. After hovering over the toilet for two feverish days, I got so dehydrated that I deliriously hallucinated a whitetailed deer dancing through my living room with a brightly-jeweled crown atop his head.
Turns out it was my just German Shepherd. I probably should have gotten to the hospital long before that point. Thankfully, though, I recovered and I was so glad to be rid of this nastiness!
And then Sidekick started puking.
That's the point at which I realized – horrified – that this was not food poisoning. It was flu season making the rounds.
Kick Some Flu Season Butt (Before it Kicks Yours)
With three kids and multiple germs being passed around, I've learned a thing or two about handling flu season. Here's how to batten down the hatches, manage the symptoms and prevent those crummy illnesses from spreading around and around and around.
Stock up on hand sanitizer and sanitizing soap. I don't generally advocate the use of antibacterial products on a day-to-day basis. However, when someone in or around your household is sick it's time to up your defense system. Wash your hands constantly (you'll also want lotion to combat dryness). Wipe down everything.
Check your medicine cabinet. Make sure you have Tylenol on-hand to reduce fever, Ibuprofen to address body aches, and cough drops to ease a sore throat.
Monitor fever. We're still partnered up with Kinsa and we use their smart thermometer system to easily track temperatures in our phones. This way it's easy to answer those inevitable questions from the doctor. When multiple kids call ill, it's critical to keep everyone's symptoms charted properly so they can be diagnosed and any truly severe problems don't get overlooked.
Use paper goods. Swap out hand towels in the bathroom for paper towels, and opt for plastic throw-away cups instead of the washable kind. I don't generally like to increase waste, but when someone is sick it's critical to minimize germs that are lingering around.
Strip off all of the clothing. Trust me, it's no fun to try and wrangle your child out of a puke-covered onesie. Have the little ones hang out in their undies or diaper, and lay down a set of towels underneath them with a blanket nearby in case they're cold. Keep an extra set on-hand so you can easily pull back the layers and replace them as needed. Brace yourself to have an endless laundry cycle going during this time.
Comfort food in a bowl. When you're sick, you want carbs. Bananas, bread, crackers and rice along with the time-tested chicken broth and ginger ale. I set out sticky rice balls and other snacks in a giant bowl, and then encourage them to hold it on their lap while they watch a movie. This way, the bowl is handy in case they need to throw up. This is the only way I could ever get my little kids to aim and keep the mess contained. At that age, they won't instinctively seek out a trash can and they want nothing to do with a toilet!
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Go for a walk. Your body naturally produces fever to combat illness when you're sick. If you're not feeling awesome but are still capable of walking, try to get up and get going around the house to keep your blood pumping and encourage your body's natural detoxification process. Added bonus? If the weather cooperates, it feels really good to get outside.