How to Prepare for the Vomitapocalypse
AKA How to deal with the Stomach Bug
This weekend the bug arrived. On Thursday we had gone to our East Cobb pediatrician office for a well visit/vaccination. Ask any mom, and they will tell you they hate well visits because you always seem to pick up more than one copay at their visit. It turns into 2 or 3 copays with all the additional illnesses you will catch.
Anyways I overheard the mom a mom telling the doctor, as he shut the door to her exam room, “Oh he is just getting over a stomach bug”. I almost screamed, just like any mother of four would, “WHY ARE YOU HERE?’. Stomach bugs are not like 24 hours quarantine for a fever; the vomit bug is very very very contagious, 48 hours is the very least in my experience. My germ aware mom friend (who used to work at the CDC so give her some street cred folks) would even hold out longer. So instead of banging on the walls and flipping out, I merely reminded my kids to wash their hands when we got home (there are some moms I have heard that make them change clothes when they get home).
“Oh he is just getting over a stomach bug”.
I almost screamed, just like any mother of four would, “WHY ARE YOU HERE?’.
Stomach bugs are not like 24 hours quarantine for a fever; the vomit bug is very very very contagious, 48 hours is the very least in my experience. My germ aware mom friend (who used to work at the CDC so give her some street cred folks) would even hold out longer. So instead of banging on the walls and flipping out, I merely reminded my kids to wash their hands when we got home (there are some moms I have heard that make them change clothes when they get home).
And within 30 hours it was simultaneous vomiting from two children in separate rooms. I brought them to my room, and the hazmat duty started. Cleaning sheets, numerous towels and washing my hands non-stop. And then a third child came down with it 3 hours later. They were all awoken from a deep sleep to the vomiting. By 7 am, I had 7 loads of laundry dirtied.
And then nearly 48 hours later (see I knew it was right to keep him home from church) the fourth child and I came down with it. More late night towel dirtying and Netflix Spiderman and his Amazing Friends watching. Educational mom at first was going to put on something informational, but when he could barely contain his yelling (we moved our vomit party to the basement), I went with the most entertaining.
How to Prepare for the Vomitapocalypse
Note: Graphic descriptions here of bodily excretions
IF YOU CAN ISOLATE, ISOLATE, ISOLATE. Put the child in his own bathroom and area away from other family members, tell them not to use that bathroom for a couple of days until you can completely detox it:)
See if you can get a prescription for Zofran, it stops the vomiting (and before you say the body is just doing its job, understand that the vomiting once it starts has already begun its process, so you are not blocking anything up and extending this)
Bleach (wipes are just not going to cut it says Nichole-mom of 7)
Vomit buckets, one per each kid (I think I would like to specially designate these because the thought of using them for any food purposes even after going through a bleach wash and dishwasher does not seem right)
Extra towels x4 (to catch the vomit that doesn’t make the bucket)
Extra hand towels x 4
Extra wash cloths
Extra blanket (remember they just vomited on their favorite)
Blow up mattress (OPTIONAL but cool if you had one)
Separate laundry basket
Extra underwear if you are so lucky to have some diarrhea on the side
Turn off fans (don’t spread those germs!)
Since I feel like I have been cleaning up vomit for 72 hours, I feel like an expert. NOTE I am not a doctor or nurse, you may have to google your own medical questions:)
1) Once the vomiting starts, get the kid to the bathroom and clean them off. Find them a bucket. Tell them to vomit in the toilet if they don’t have one yet, not the sink, please. Remind them to carry that bucket EVERYWHERE for a while, never leave a room without it. Great Tip from Elaine, another mom of 4: Line the vomit bucket with a plastic bag that has paper towels folded into the bottom of it. Then your clean up, instead of being a germ-spreading dump, rinse with bleach, swish, dump, is easy. Just pull out the bag, tie it, toss it… replace a bucket with another such liner, voila.
2) Close the lid when flushing, EVERY SINGLE TIME. Micro spray is disgusting (google it to learn more).
2) Grab the dirty sheets and blankets full of last night’s dinner and throw in the bathtub. Save this fun for tomorrow during daylight hours. If you can focus on washing the towels and hand cloths.
3) Grab at least one extra set of night clothes. Pray all this drama doesn’t wake the other kids who share their room.
3) Get a bleachy water washcloth and start cleaning up. Don’t want to leave germs for the other children. Don’t forget toilet seats, toilet flush handles, doorknobs, toys.
4) They are probably asking for water at this point, say not yet. In a little bit. After the vomiting seems to taper off let them have small sips.
5) Set up a central command post to deal with the vomit express that is on the tracks for the next 3-6 hours.If they are going to your bed, take all the blankets and pillows off and throw down towels, everywhere, including the floor. If you are lucky enough to have a basement and blow up bed, even better. Vinyl mattresses clean up much easier that cloth.
6) If you have calm kids and they are handling it well try to see if you can get them to sleep in between bouts (about every 30 minutes). I got one kid to lay on me and the other in the bedroom overstuffed chair. Elevating the head seems to work well. If you can throw towels down on the pillows to prop them up. Or hit the couch so they can lay head up. If they are entirely not handling it well and yelling, hopefully you have a basement you can go to, so they don’t wake up everyone. And Spiderman. Highly recommend 1980′s Spiderman.
7) Sleep is good. If you can get them to sleep, I feel like this is a great healer.
8) If Vicky Vomit’s friend “Debby Diarrhea” shows up, make them wear underwear. They think they are just passing gas, but it’s uncontrollable liquid poop. And boy is it hard to get that smell out of hardwood floor. Seriously, God bless you if you have carpet.
9) Introduce liquids slowly. Tiny sips. If they keep down a sip after 20 minutes, you can give them another.Eventually, they will slow down on the vomiting. Once vomiting has stopped for 2 hours you can introduce something simple IF they are hungry, saltines, rice, applesauce. Have you heard of the BRAT diet? It’s the safe food for the recovering vomiter, Bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. Now absolutely do not give them dairy at this point. Even if it is good natured probiotic yogurt (trust me). BRAT is the way to go. Avoid food prep for 3 days if you have it too.
10) Isolate dishware. Give the sick person paper products and not the family dishes. Less contamination.
Trust Me, the LACK OF DAIRY is a great healer. If you don’t get the vomit bug, but get the “nausea” bug that lasts for days, I have found cutting out dairy for even 24 hours can help a TON.
Hope you enjoyed how to deal with the Vomitapocalypse from ZombieMommySaves. Leave in the comments your number one tip for the vomit stomach bug.
PS IF you are friends with me and your family has the bug, stomach flu, whatever, you are dead to me for a minimum of 48 hours until last vomit. And for the love of Pete don’t invite us over to your house for a bare minimum of 2 weeks after.
Thank you, Jesus.