Dealing with Sickness: Prevention and Stopping Infection Spreading
For those with children on school holidays, I’m sure you’ll commiserate when I tell you that my children were sick for the entire first week and that we have not gone anywhere of note in that time. If the stir-craziness and wails of boredom were not enough, we’ve had to contend with vomiting sessions, lethargy, fevers and coughs. I absolutely feel for them, and having contracted the bug myself, I literally felt it for them(!) and now how horrible it can make you feel. But despite having complete sympathy for my little darlings, at some point I began to tire of being needed twenty four seven and listening to the snipes of crotchety siblings annoying each other the tiniest of tribulations. It’s such a shame to be stuck inside and watch all your catch up plans and school holiday dreams slowly fade into oblivion.
Despite the difficult week, I feel as always that there must be something to be gained from this situation, no doubt a life lesson of some kind. Firstly, I’m sure we can concede that in most cases, prevention is always preferable. So what can we do to prevent illness when these bugs seem to be rife in our town or area at a certain time?
- Provide certified organic food.
I have noticed since sourcing our food from The Organic Place that we have seemed to avoid the usual winter bugs. I think there is absolutely something to eating food that is free from toxins. Pure, unadulterated food is no doubt better for supporting a healthy body and immune system. That famous quote comes to mind: ‘Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. If you’re fueling your body with the best foods, and mainly fruit and vegetables, your body should be running at its best to begin with and able to fight any infections more deftly.
- Sure up immune systems with probiotic food
Following on from food being your medicine, we know that probiotics do wonders for our gut health and a healthy gut protects our immune system above and beyond fresh produce. It may be a little trickier to get your children to come around to eating the likes of sauerkraut but is well worth the effort if you can.
- Cleanliness is key.
I think it goes without saying that cleanliness is so important when it comes to preventing the spread of infection. It can also be a battle getting your children to wash their hands before eating food and after going to the toilet. Despite sounding like a broken record, the best way is to keep reminding them whenever you can. You may even want to put up a sign to help them remember too. With gastro bugs, it’s so important to keep the toilet and bathroom area clean and sanitized to avoid them being spread further. It is worth investing in and using cleaning gloves and a mask when carrying out these tasks.
- Avoid avoid avoid!
It’s easier said than done but if you can avoid places where your child might pick up something, then do so. With our bug making its way around my children’s local school this was particularly difficult to avoid obviously. All we could really do was have an ear out to keep track of who had been sick most recently and try and divulge if they were someone our kids had played with recently. And while good food, plenty of sleep and cleanliness can all help to an extent, sometimes there is a doozy of a bug that will come down on you like a pile of bricks regardless of all the best laid prevention plans.
So what can you do when the your family contracts one of these lovely illnesses that are doing the rounds? How can we make life a little easier for ourselves and hopefully save the whole family from falling ill?
Dealing with sickness
Again, this is easier said than done but any steps you can take to isolate the person who is ill may help it from spreading to other family members. My boys share a room and so when one of them came out with projectile vomits the night before the last day of school, I quickly moved his mattress into the adjacent room. Obviously making sure everyone doesn’t share food or drink is vital to stop the illness from spreading.
Whenever I was sick as a child, my mum would immediately get a towel to put over our pillow. While the rough towel under my face wasn’t the most comfortable thing, I see now that this was a genius move to keep washing to a minimum. It’s much easier to change a towel than sheets and pillowcases every time someone vomits. At some point though, everything needs to be thoroughly washed (preferably in warm water) and hung out in the sunshine. Before I became a mum and a seasoned washer woman, I never knew that the sun actually has antibacterial properties. Perhaps that’s why the warm sunshine on our face can make us feel a little better when we aren’t one hundred percent.
- Get fresh air and sunshine
This is no doubt why when any of the sickies are up to it, some time outside in the fresh air, and sunshine if possible, will do them a world of good. No doubt the Vitamin D will help and everyone will be hanging for fresh air after their senses have been awash with all manner of sick smells. At a minimum, if it is not too cool and you can open some windows and doors to let some fresh air in, you may flush out any of those nasties that may be airborne.
As we slowly crawl our way back to the land of the living and better health, I sincerely hope your family have missed any nasties doing the rounds and have been able to have a more productive and enjoyable first week of the school holidays. It’s easy to become complacent when we are feeling well, especially on holidays when we are more likely to overdo activities and treats. Try to remember to have your junk food in moderation and some rest days in between days with busy outings so that if you do happen to pick up something, you can bounce back more quickly.
Here’s to a healthier second week of school holidays!