Today I’m sharing how to survive the stomach virus, with tips to avoid the stomach flu when your family has it and must-have cleaning supplies for your home.
The stomach virus is a parent’s worst nightmare, especially when the whole family catches it. Everyone but my husband is finally recovering from a stomach virus we contracted over Thanksgiving weekend. We were completely unprepared for it in terms of cleaning supplies and provisions needed to remedy the stomach flu. Here is how to survive a 24 hour stomach virus so your family is always prepared for an outbreak.
What is the stomach virus?
Viral gastroenteritis is the medical term used to describe a stomach bug. It is an intestinal infection marked by watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea or vomiting, and sometimes fever. The most common way to develop viral gastroenteritis is through contact with an infected person. My family contracted the stomach flu from a family member on Thanksgiving. Thank you again for that gift.
How do you know you actually have the stomach virus?
My kids seem to throw up a lot, so it can be hard to know when they have the stomach bug. Post nasal drip, car sickness, and persistent coughing are all cause for vomit in my household. One telltale way I know it is the stomach bug is when my child vomits more than once out of nowhere for an extended period of time. The vomiting is followed by body aches, fever, and lethargy.
What to do when your family has a stomach bug
Since we became parents, we’ve had the stomach virus three times and it always starts in a child. We all know the youngest have the most vulnerable immune systems. As soon as the vomiting begins, you should take these precautions:
- Use appropriate cleaning products to disinfect the entire house, especially places the infected has touched. The best cleaning product for the stomach virus is this spray or these wipes.
- Quarantine the infected and if possible, use a different bathroom.
- Use different personal items – utensils, cups, towels, toothbrushes, etc. DO NOT SHARE ANYTHING.
- Avoid public places for at least 24 hours after the symptoms subside.
When someone has the stomach virus, the best way to avoid catching it is to keep your distance. However, distance is unavoidable when you are the caregiver.
The Best Remedies for a Stomach Bug
There is no fast and easy cure for a stomach bug, so prevention is key. However, once the stomach bug hits, make sure you get plenty of clear liquids and lots of rest. Saltines are the only food I can handle when I have the stomach virus and sometimes a little bit of Ginger Ale.
Wondering when to call the doctor? If you or your child is vomiting blood, confused, fainting, vomiting with a fever of 101 degrees F, or in severe pain, call the doctor immediately.
Note: If you have an infant or young child, it is best to call the pediatrician once the symptoms begin.
How to Disinfect the House after a Stomach Virus
- Wear Cleaning Gloves and old clothes.
- Wash any linens and clothing touched by the infected in hot water.
- Put dishes in the dishwasher instead of washing by hand. Use hot water.
- Use THIS spray: Clorox Hydrogen Peroxide Disinfecting Cleaner. It’s a one-step disinfectant cleaner that can kill micro-organisms on both hard and soft surfaces in one minute (or less). We use it on all surfaces in our home, including couches and beds!
Once the stomach bug has left the house, normal snuggles can resume.
Caitlin Houston is a Connecticut based life and style blogger.