The following doesn’t substitute for medical advice….I’m not a doctor. I’m the daughter of a nurse, but I don’t actually have any medical training.
So here we sit on the rainy Monday, as I called in to school (again) because MaM is sick. This is sick day #14, I think, for this school year, and only one or two of those was I actually the one who was ill.
Today MaM has some sort of stomach bug, she ran into our room at 5:20 this morning announcing, “I puked up in my bed, Mama :/” Oh my poor baby girl.
Here are some things that I’ve learned about puke-fests, as we’ve had more than our fair share this year:
1) Make things washable & wipable. For some reason, these viruses tend to come on while they sleep. This is why they both have plastic mattress covers & waterproof pillow covers. I can’t imagine cleaning an actual mattress on top of everything else!
2) Line the puke bucket. From about age 3 on, MaM has been able to hit a bucket when needed. I was complaining to my mom one day about having to clean it out….and then she mentioned that somewhere along the way, she figured out to use a LINER. So be sure to secure a plastic bag inside your small trash can or bucket, it makes everything SO MUCH BETTER.
3) Tiny amounts of fluids go a long way. Dehydration is the biggest worry with these stomach bugs. A small amount of water in a straw cup is a good way to push fluids (small amounts at a time). If water won’t stay down, an electrolyte solution (pediatric or sports) can work wonders. (sidenote – A Franciscan priest shared that detail with my college natural science class, and it’s been a lifesaver for me on many a “day-after-the-party” ) There are pediatric solution popsicles, but they gross MaM out. “I don’t like salty popsicles,” were her exact words. So here’s what I do-I keep them unfrozen and then just put the contents in a straw cup with a little water. She gets the potassium and sodium she needs, and is none the wiser. Here are more details on dehydration: http://kidshealth.org/parent/firstaid_safe/emergencies/dehydration.html
4)Kids really do need to be puke-free for 24hrs before returning to school or daycare. So if your kid is still not holding anything down at 11:30am, you may as well make arrangements for the next day. As someone who was hospitalized for dehydration due to a child coming back to school too soon (and hurling next to me), I have the utmost respect for this rule.
Even if it means I’m off to call in for Sick Day #15.